N.J. inching closer (but still a ways off) from being on national quarantine list

Gov. Phil Murphy announced 637 new positive COVID-19 cases on Sunday — after reporting 957 new cases on Saturday.

The new cases give New Jersey a rolling seven-day average of 691. And while that number is higher than it has been in months, it’s still lower than the 880 average that may be required to be on the quarantine list.

With a population of approximately 8.8 million, 10 new cases for every 100,000 in population (one of the qualifiers to be on the list) would be an average of 880 new cases over a seven-day period.

Saturday’s reported number (957) is the highest number of new cases the state has seen in months. May 29 is the last day the state had more than 1,000 new cases. The state had more than 3,000 cases per day on a regular basis in May, when it occasionally topped more than 4,000 new cases.

The state now has more than 208,000 recorded cases.

The number of new cases can be a tricky variable. Consider this: The state is conducting more tests now than it was in May due to increased testing capacity.

The state is nowhere near the other qualifier: A 10% or higher positivity rate for a seven-day period. On Friday, Murphy reported the state’s positivity rate at 2.47% — though it was nearly 16% in Ocean County and nearly 28% in Lakewood.

Murphy also announced one additional COVID-19 related fatality. The number is now 14,349 — with an additional 1,787 presumed to be from COVID-19.

Other notes from the weekend.

Christie, with COVID, in hospital

Former Gov. Chris Christie went to Morristown Medical Center on Saturday after learning he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Christie, 58, has two underlying conditions — asthma and obesity — that make him more vulnerable to the impact of the virus. He tweeted Saturday that he checked into the hospital after consulting with his doctors.

“While I am feeling good and only have mild symptoms, due to my history of asthma we decided this is an important precautionary measure. I am thankful for our hardworking medical professionals and look forward to coming home soon.”

Christie appeared on set in New York with ABC News for its post-debate coverage. ABC announced Saturday that staffers who were in direct contact with him with quarantine for 14 days.

A spokesperson for Morristown Medical Center said the hospital officials were not planning to release a statement on Christie’s condition or care.

The last word

Christie received well wishes from dozens of the state’s current and former political leaders — on both sides of the aisle.

Gov. Murphy and first lady Tammy Murphy offered words of support, as they did for President Donald Trump.

“Tammy and I continue to keep Governor Christie in our thoughts and prayers. We all know he is a fighter and wish him a full and speedy recovery,” they said in a statement Saturday night.

Former Gov. Jim McGreevey also tweeted words of support.

“I pray for the health and well-being of our former governor and friend Chris Christie, for Mary Pat and the children. Jersey Strong! Blessings”