Nearly 1,000 new cases of coronavirus in N.J.; overall total (2,844) is second-highest in U.S.

File photo Gov. Phil Murphy at a daily coronavirus briefing.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced 935 more positive coronavirus cases Monday, bringing the state total to 2,844. With the increase, New Jersey now ranks No. 2 among states with cases, trailing only New York. We are, clearly, in the epicenter of the outbreak in the country.

The reasons for the increase are twofold: There is a growing community spread of the virus — and there is increased testing.

Of the new cases, 128 are in Bergen County, which remains the heart of the outbreak in New Jersey. Other hot spots, for cases announced Monday: Essex (96), Monmouth (80), Union (66), Middlesex (61), Hudson (58) and Morris (55) counties.

Overall, the county stats are as follows: Bergen (609), Essex (273), Monmouth (238), Middlesex (210) and Hudson (190).

Other news from a briefing that is still ongoing:

  • Fatalities: There were seven more fatalities; bringing that total to 27. Those totals include five males and two females, ages 57-91. Two had preexisting conditions; one was associated with a long-term care facility. The fatalities were from the following counties: Bergen (2), Essex, Passaic, Somerset, Union and Warren.
  • Testing: Murphy discussed more testing sites in the state, but he also suggested the day will come — likely sooner rather than later — that testing will be curtailed so the limited manpower and resources (including limited Personal Protection Equipment) can be used to care for cases rather than diagnosing new cases.
  • Jobs: Murphy noted there are more than 8,000 jobs — most in grocery, manufacturing and distribution — posted on the state’s COVID-19 page,
  • Schools: Murphy said residents should expect schools to be closed for an extended period of time.
  • Early release: Offenders who are serving low-level offenses in county jails with less than a year to go on their sentence may be released. It is not guaranteed, and releases can be challenged. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said this health emergency is forcing the state to take action that it would not take in normal times.

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