New Jersey reported 349 additional COVID-19 cases on Sunday — making a weekend total of 777 and an overall total of 175,298.
How low is that? Consider this: Florida, the state that once wanted New Jersey residents to quarantine, shattered the single-day U.S. record by reporting 15,299 new cases on Sunday alone.
Incredible. It’s a sign of how the country is still in the middle of this pandemic and how New Jersey is now a national leader. New Jersey’s rate of transmission was reported at 0.98 — or just under the coveted 1.0 mark. (Rate of transmission is an indication of how many new cases an existing case will create.)
The state still has fewer than 1,000 in the hospital (the total is now 890). And there are just 163 in intensive or critical care — with only 86 of those patients on ventilators.
Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking Friday, said the continually improving hospital numbers should be celebrated, but not taken for granted.
“I must caution everyone, just because our hospital metrics continue to move in very positive directions does not mean that we can become complacent,” he said.
Murphy continued to stress the importance of face coverings — which are now mandated in many indoor and outdoor situations — stressing they are part of the best defense against COVID-19.
“We know we don’t have therapeutics right now that are developed explicitly for COVID-19, we know we don’t have a vaccine and we’re not sure about herd immunity,” he said.
COVID-19, after all, is still deadly.
The state reported 16 fatalities Sunday and 49 on Saturday. And, while that does not mean that many people died this weekend — just that deaths were confirmed to be by COVID-19 — the state’s confirmed fatality total now stands at 13,594, with nearly 2,000 more deaths suspected of being from COVID-19.