Based on data … second surge is here

It’s fair to say the second wave is here.

Gov. Phil Murphy reported Friday that New Jersey had 1,139 new positive COVID-19 cases, pushing the state’s cumulative total to 225,430.

The recent run of numbers is what is concerning. New Jersey has had more than 1,000 new cases every day since Monday. This after topping the 1,000 mark just three times total since May 24.

Here’s a look at the past week:

  • Friday: 1,139;
  • Thursday: 1,182;
  • Wednesday: 1,062;
  • Tuesday: 1,036;
  • Monday: 1,193.

The good news: The rate of transmission remains close to 1.0.

Still, the numbers are double what they had been throughout the summer and fall. Consider:

  • Sept. 23: 430 cases;
  • Aug. 23: 288 cases;
  • July 23: 334 cases;
  • June 23: 382 cases.

What remains to be seen is whether these numbers go even higher. Remember, the actual count usually is reflective of a number of days ago.

Other notes:

Remdesivir approved 

Remdesivir became the first drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID-19.

Lewis Nelson, a professor and chair of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, said this is just a small step — and that many other issues need to be addressed.

“Its safety appears to be cautiously acceptable and it’s going to take more studies to understand it truly,” he said. “Also, given the large number of eligible patients who can receive the drug — those over age 12 and hospitalized with COVID-19 — the pricing, equitable distribution and payment coverage for this drug are going to be a critical societal issue that will need to be addressed.”

Voting by mail

Murphy announced 2,270,180 ballots have been cast by New Jerseyans, 11 days before the Nov. 3 general election.

New Jersey, which recorded 3.9 million in 2016, is one of only of six states that already have exceeded 50% of their 2016 turnout.

On Thursday, a federal judge in New Jersey dismissed a lawsuit by President Donald Trump’s campaign challenging the constitutionality of the essentially all-vote-by-mail election.