Key COVID-19 health metrics improve, reversing week’s trend

Health officials continually warn that you shouldn’t read too much into one-day statistics — but you have to think New Jersey officials felt a little better about the day-by-day numbers Friday, when the announced metrics were all down from the day before, reversing a weeklong rising trend.

The rate of transmission dropped to 0.86 (anything under 1.0 is good) — meaning each case spawns fewer than one new case. That number had been rising all week. It was 0.76 Monday.

The announced positivity rate dropped from 3.65% Thursday to 2.1% Friday. Today’s number is below the 2.42% rate announced Monday and only the second single-day drop of the week.

And the number of hospitalizations had its second consecutive daily drop, going from 1,182 to 1,118 — this after three straight increases, as it went from 1,029 on Monday to 1,092 on Tuesday and 1,196 on Wednesday.

The numbers are still small — and still put New Jersey ahead of much of the rest of the country, which is experiencing some of what we had in March and April. But, still, seeing a drop was worth noting.

Here are the rest of the numbers:

There were 524 additional COVID-19 cases, raising the state total to 170,584. By comparison, Florida announced 5,004 new cases Friday; there were 3,056 in Arizona and 5,996 in Texas.

Murphy also announced there were 44 additional fatalities, pushing the state total to 13,060 — which does not include the more than 1,800 deaths that likely were caused by COVID-19.

The number of patients in intensive or critical care dropped to 234, down from 252 on Thursday. And the number of patients on ventilators dropped to 206 from 210.

Murphy said the 59 people with COVID-19 were admitted to hospitals, while 114 were discharged.

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