TRENTON, NJ — For the first time since March 10, there were no reported COVID-19 deaths in New Jersey hospitals during the 24-hour period ending last night. However, Gov. Phil Murphy expressed disappointment over the increase in the state's positivity rate, although it still ranks among the lowest in the country. 

"The spot positivity rate for tests from July 27 is 2.15 percent — not as good as it has been, but pretty darn good," the governor said while reporting during his July 31 briefing that New Jersey is among the five lowest states for daily positivity. 

Meanwhile, the state’s rate of transmission has increased to 1.35, which has trended slightly up in recent weeks. The governor has said that it is important to keep it to 1 or below. (A 1.0 transmission rate means that a positive person would only spread COVID-19 to no more than one other person).

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The governor said the state is ramping up contact tracing capabilities and working with local health departments to identify causes of outbreaks that have contributed to recent increases in the number of positive cases.

“Given the recent data on cases, it will go higher again,” Murphy said. “Everyone who walks around refusing a mask, hosts a house party and overstuffs a boat is directly contributing to increases. This has to stop now."

The governor reminded New Jerseyans that the limit on indoor gatherings is the lesser number of 100 individuals or 25 percent of capacity, whichever is lower.

“We reserve the right to lower this threshold. Consider this being put on notice. We will not tolerate the devil-may-care attitudes any longer,” Murphy said. “We are not past COVID-19,” the governor warned. “I am not announcing any specific action today, but consider this as being put on notice. These numbers are setting off alarms. The only way to silence these alarms is by taking this seriously.”

Murphy reported that there have been 10 additional confirmed COVID-19 deaths since his last briefing and that the state total of confirmed deaths has risen to 13,944. Of these, seven occurred within the last five days. The number of “probable” deaths remains 1,875.

The governor also announced 699 new positive COVID-19 test results, which pushes New Jersey’s cumulative total since March 4 to 181,660. There are currently 695 patients in hospitals (352 COVID-19 confirmed and 343 persons under investigation) with 113 patients in either critical or intensive care, and 45 ventilators in use.   

“Overall, the trends in our hospitals continue to move our health care system in the right direction,” Murphy said. “As these numbers keep moving down, so do we in the national rankings of the important health care metrics. Even with the increases we’ve seen in the latest case numbers, New Jersey remains among the 10 states nationwide with the lowest number of active cases per capita."

As of July 31, there were 54 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Monmouth County, and no new deaths were reported. 

The breakdown of cumulative positive COVID-19 cases by municipality is as follows:

Aberdeen:

 

267

 
 

Allenhurst

 

12

 
 

Allentown

 

12

 
 

Asbury Park

 

342

 
 

Atlantic Highlands

 

41

 
 

Avon-by-the-Sea

 

18

 
 

Belmar

 

56

 
 

Bradley Beach

 

66

 
 

Brielle

 

73

 
 

Colts Neck

 

102

 
 

Deal

 

43

 
 

Eatontown

 

330

 
 

Englishtown

 

50

 
 

Fair Haven

 

42

 
 

Farmingdale

 

13

 
 

Freehold Borough

 

444

 
 

Freehold Township

 

753

 
 

Hazlet

 

352

 
 

Highlands

 

40

 
 

Holmdel

 

330

 
 

Howell

 

767

 
 

Interlaken

 

4

 
 

Keansburg

 

216

 
 

Keyport

 

108

 
 

Lake Como

 

17

 
 

Little Silver

 

45

 
 

Loch Arbour

 

1

 
 

Long Branch

 

650

 
 

Manalapan

 

538

 
 

Manasquan

 

66

 
 

Marlboro:

 

543

 
 

Matawan

 

225

 
 

Middletown

 

886

 
 

Millstone Township

 

93

 
 

Monmouth Beach

 

29

 
 

Neptune City

 

75

 
 

Neptune Township

 

663

 
 

Ocean

 

410

 
 

Oceanport

 

75

 
 

Red Bank

 

307

 
 

Roosevelt

 

9

 
 

Rumson

 

63

 
 

Sea Bright

 

12

 
 

Sea Girt

 

33

 
 

Shrewsbury Borough

 

66

 
 

Shrewsbury Township

 

12

 
 

Spring Lake

 

35

 
 

Spring Lake Heights

 

49

 
 

Tinton Falls

 

250

 
 

Union Beach

 

45

 
 

Upper Freehold

 

68

 
 

Wall

 

476

 
 

West Long Branch

 

83

 
 

Unknown:

 

9

 
 

*Belmar officials reported on July 29 there were 10 current cases after recoveries and individuals who live in other municipalities but share the Belmar 07719 zip code were removed from the borough’s total.)

 

Below is the video of Gov. Murphy's July 31 press briefing: