With more than 3,000 new COVID cases this weekend, second surge is here

New Jersey recorded more than 1,000 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases Sunday and nearly 2,000 Saturday — meaning the state has hit four digits for seven consecutive days and any hope that New Jersey could avoid the expected second surge is all but over.

On Sunday, there were 1,140 cases. On Saturday, the state reported 1,994 new cases. And, while there is some debate on how new these cases are, there is no doubt that Saturday’s total is the closest the state has been to 2,000 new cases since it reported since 1,985 May 9.

In case you have forgotten how that situation was, that 1,985 number May 9 was celebrated for being so low. The state reported 3,144 new cases May 4.

Gov. Phil Murphy — in a Sunday tweet — said the obvious.

“This virus has not gone away. Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands.” On Saturday, he said, “The virus has not gone away simply because everyone is tired of it.”

With the weekend announcement, New Jersey now has a cumulative total of 228,468 cases. Here is a look at the past seven days:

  • Sunday: 1,140;
  • Saturday: 1,994;
  • Friday: 1,139;
  • Thursday: 1,182;
  • Wednesday: 1,062;
  • Tuesday: 1,036;
  • Monday: 1,193.

And, while New Jersey has had more than 8,600 cases in the past week, it is in far better shape than other states. According to the CDC, 19 other states have had more, led by Texas (37,508), Illinois (31,517), Wisconsin (29,912) and California (28,355).

The surge is not limited to states with bigger populations: Indiana (14,477), Alabama (11,614), Oklahoma (10,478), Utah (9,820) and Kentucky (8,683) also have had more.

On Saturday, Murphy extended the state’s public health emergency an additional 30 days. And, while the move is routine — necessary to keep many his executive orders in place — the rise in cases make this extension a little more relevant.

“Today’s new COVID-19 case count marks our highest daily figure since May,” Murphy said in a statement. “As we face a steep increase in cases, it could not be more important to ensure we have access to all available resources. Keeping New Jerseyans safe is our highest priority, today and every day. We are again extending the public health emergency in order to do exactly that.”

The state public health emergency was declared March 9 and previously extended April 7, May 6, June 4, July 2, Aug. 1, Aug. 27 and Sept. 25. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed.

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