Positive COVID-19 cases (1,301) are highest since May 29 – though they come with much higher number of tests

After many months of steady decline, New Jersey’s COVID-19 case numbers are moving in the wrong direction. Today, the state reported 1,301 new positive case results. That’s the highest it has been since May 29, when the total was 1,394.

“We must take this virus very seriously,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in his Thursday press briefing. “When we get 1,301 cases in one day, we know we’re still in the fight folks. When we memorialize these people every day, they’re gone. They’re dead. They’ve left us. Please continue to do the right thing.”

While cases are on the rise all throughout the state, there are two counties in the state that continue to be major problem areas. Out of the new cases reported today, 285 are from Ocean and 128 are from Monmouth — roughly 22% and 10%, respectively. For perspective, there are now 46.94 new positive cases of COVID per 100,000 residents in Ocean County, while Monmouth County is not far behind with 20.69. These numbers have not been this high since late April.

Then there’s this: The state said the number came from 60,857, which is double (if not triple) what has been the standard number of cases. That being said, the statewide positivity rate as of Sunday is 3.69%.

Five more counties have reported more than 80 additional cases each – Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Passaic and Union.

The governor also expressed his disappointment in the comments of President Donald Trump after being released from the hospital for COVID-19 treatment, saying that his words were disrespectful to the victims of this pandemic.

“When you see the mask coming off and you hear words like ‘Don’t let the virus dominate your life. Be strong’ … We memorialize families every time we are together,” he said. “I speak with survivors and loved ones all the time … (The victims) fought this virus tooth and nail. In some cases, for weeks. In others for months. They fought it as hard as they could and in every way they could.”

Despite this concerning uptick in positives, Murphy is staying cool, saying that the state is remaining on top of new COVID cases.

“I wouldn’t say I’m freaked out,” he explained. “The modeling suggested that at a certain point we were going to start to see number like this … We’re watching this, there’s no other way to put it.”