N.J. tops 300K COVID cases — and Newark clarifies its shutdown as ‘urgent advisory’

New Jersey broke its single-day record for COVID-19 cases again Saturday when it announced there were 4,679 cases.

And, while the announcement shows the second wave of the virus is as strong as ever, there were not any calls for more restrictions.

Another stat that drew little notice: The number of cases pushed the state over the 300,000 mark — making New Jersey the 13th state to do. Indiana and Arizona will both do so in the coming days, perhaps as soon as Monday.

With 3,998 more cases announced Sunday, New Jersey now has 306,077.

The state also announced 49 more fatalities connected to COVID, bringing that cumulative total to 14,949. And while that number indicates the state is closing in on 15,000 — the fact is, New Jersey has long since topped that number. State officials feel there are approximately 1,800 deaths that almost certainly are COVID-related.

CNN’s state-by-state tracker says New Jersey has had 16,761 fatalities — fifth-most among the states.

Murphy, on Saturday, tweeted his usual warnings.

“The numbers speak for themselves. Please take this seriously. Wear a mask. Social distance. Avoid large gatherings,” he tweeted.

‘Urgent advisory’ in Newark

When Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said Friday, “We are going to lock the city down,” many were led to believe it was an official order.

On Saturday, city officials clarified the situation: It is an urgent advisory.

TapInto Newark, citing unnamed city officials, said the lockdown has to be a recommendation so as to not supersede any orders from the governor.

That being said, Murphy has done little to oppose any restrictions in Newark, acknowledging that the situation is more dire there than elsewhere. And, last week, he gave all municipalities the ability to restrict the movement of non-essential workers after 8 p.m.

Newark’s COVID-19 metrics are much higher than the rest of the state — Newark has an overall positivity rate of approximately 20% — and it’s double that in some areas.

Baraka, last week on a radio appearance, said he wants the city to shelter in place for 10 days, through the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We are, from Wednesday before Thanksgiving to Dec. 4, going to lock the city down,” he said. “We want people to shelter in place. We only want folks to come out for essential purposes. Do not go outside if you don’t have to. Don’t mingle with other people if you don’t have to. Stay (with) your family in your immediate household.”

Final word

In a necessary procedural move, Murphy signed executive order No. 200 — extending the public health emergency he declared on March 9 for the ninth time. He is required to do so every 30 days.

“Despite the hope that is on the horizon, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. We continue to utilize all resources available and will need the ability to do so as we battle this virus through the second wave that has enveloped our nation and our state.”