Weekend COVID update: Big dips in key health metrics

The key COVID-19 health indicators continue to make massive drops — according to the daily totals released by Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration.

Sunday’s numbers — which reflect the state of the state as of Saturday at 10 p.m. — showed New Jersey is now well under 2,000 people hospitalized and the number of people on ventilators is now well under 400. And the number of people in intensive or critical care may soon dip under 500.

Even more, the number of new cases had a six-day average of 464 for the past week, using numbers reported from Monday through Sunday.

A look at the numbers reported Sunday:

  • New cases: 426 (state has been below 700 in four of the past five days);
  • Hospitalizations: 1,769 (state has been under 2,000 for four consecutive days);
  • People in intensive/critical care: 503 (state has been under 600 for four consecutive days);
  • People on ventilators: 379 (state has been under 500 for nine consecutive days).

And, while the 426 new cases appear to be cause for celebration — another milestone hit with the first reported day of fewer than 500 cases in months — it could be based on a lag in weekend reporting.

Sadly, the fatality total is still high, as there were 79 more deaths related to COVID-19, pushing the state’s total to 12,176.

Peaceful protests

Murphy has continually praised the nature of protests in the state, which have been almost universally peaceful. Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla was thrilled to see a march of an approximated crowd of 10,000 went smoothly Friday night.

“I’m proud of our city, residents and visitors who peacefully demonstrated in the fight for racial justice and equality yesterday,” Bhalla said in a statement. “Together, we showed that a nonviolent event can help lead the movement to change the way society treats people of color. I listened, learned and remain committed to acting.

“I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who joined the demonstration, sharing your stories, and exercising your First Amendment rights, as well as the Hoboken Police Department for taking the precautions to keep our residents safe. Our community and country will be stronger because of it.”

Bhalla and his family took part in the march. On Sunday, he urged those who participated to get tested — reminding them the city will pick up the cost of the test.

To make an appointment for a COVID-19 test through the city’s partnership with Riverside Medical, which is open to all residents, please call 201-420-5621 Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Symptoms of COVID-19 are not needed to receive a test.

Strong words from EWNJ

From Executive Women of New Jersey President Barbara Kauffman: “As an organization that advocates on behalf of women for gender diversity, equity and equality, we cannot stay silent in the face of outright injustice, most recently exhibited with the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. Sadly, these are only the latest examples of hundreds of years of persistent dehumanization of black Americans. Enough is enough. It is time to reform the institutions and systems that lead to these injustices. … As an organization, we must raise our voices in solidarity to bring about change.

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all that is happening in the news and on social media, but, if we all focus on what we can do individually, then it could lead to powerful collective change. This is why we’re asking our members to focus on leading change in their own communities and workplaces.

“We’re circulating the following materials to our members as resources to educate them and drive change in the spaces that they occupy. We encourage everyone to take the time and read something on this list as a means to learn more and find actionable ways to help.”

EWNJ included links to:

On the Waterfront

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) praised the appellate court decision upholding the law abolishing the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor:

“The court decision reaffirms the one thing we have known all along: It is time and it is necessary to move forward, making way for more efficient operations at the port,” he said in a statement. “The companies along the Waterfront are a part of one of the lifeblood industries of our state’s economy. Their ability to work, create jobs and do business aids in our long-term successful growth in these industries and will open up opportunities for people to get back to work.”

Final word

Paul Fishman, former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and partner at the law firm of Arnold & Porter, on the nomination of Fabiana Pierre-Louis to the state Supreme Court:

As United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Fabiana was the first attorney I hired, and I am enormously proud to have done so. She was a great prosecutor, wonderful colleague and will serve as excellent addition to the state’s highest court.”

Read more from ROI-NJ on coronavirus: