Coronavirus Count: Major Strides Made in Bringing Down Numbers Since Mid-April Peak
TRENTON, NJ — Since the coronavirus hit its peak in New Jersey in mid-April, “progress has been undeniable,” said Gov. Phil Murphy at his May 12 press briefing.
New daily positive COVID-19 cases are down 61%, while daily hospitalizations have dropped 71%. In addition, patient admissions have been slashed in half, and deaths per day have fallen by 28%.
However, he was also quick to point out that as the most densely population state, New Jersey leads the country as having more cases, hospitalizations and deaths per 100,000 persons that any other state.
And with those numbers serving as his backdrop, Murphy unveiled an ambitious plan that will accelerate testing capacity and contact tracing efforts throughout the state — an initiative that will cost “hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said.
Considered a vital step by medical experts in controlling the spread of the coronavirus, contact tracing involves identifying people who’ve tested positive for the disease and finding everyone in their lives who many have been exposed to COVID-19 through that contact.
Murphy said the plan will begin with those most vulnerable and at high risk for the disease, which has claimed some 9,500 lives in New Jersey — more than one-half of whom resided in long-term care facilities.
He said the state will be hiring at least 1,000 community contact tracers — adding to its current corps of some 900 tracers —and will be contracting with Dimagi, a Cambridge, Mass.-based technology company, to bring its CommCare mobile data collection platform to New Jersey.
In addition to issuing an executive order to ensure that local health departments and state health officials are using the same information platform, he is calling on municipalities to undertake a more regional/county-based approach to data collection.
On the testing side of the effort, Murphy said the state is well on its way to meeting a goal of screening 20,000 residents per day by the end of May — a total that he expects to reach 25,000 by the end of June. Currently, there are 135 public and private testing sites across the state.
He also has given the state's 635 long-term care facilities until May 26 to test all residents and staff for COVID-19. Nearly 26,500 positive cases have been reported in 518 of these facilities, which include 375 nursing homes, and 260 assisted living and other adult care facilities.
The governor offered little information on reopening the state and lifting restrictions that fall under his “stay-at-home” and public health emergency orders.
In responding to a question about the economic impact that the Jersey Shore will suffer if businesses cannot open for Memorial Day weekend, he said, “I don’t know what part of America won’t be taking an economic hit in the month of May. This is not just New Jersey, not just the Jersey Shore.”
However, he added that there may be steps in place to “mitigate the hit” in order to get “some semblance of a new normal” by the upcoming holiday weekend — although he said he was not ready to “go live” with that guidance.
During the press briefing, officials also updated the following coronavirus-related statistics:
- 898 new positive cases for a cumulative total of 140,743 — the lowest daily total since March 25.
- Monmouth has 7,068 total cases — an increase of 39 over the previous day, according to county health officials. The tally remains the eighth highest total among 21 counties.
- It has taken more than 30 days for the number of positive coronavirus cases to double in Monmouth County, ranking it among 16 counties with this benchmark — an indicator of the slowing rate of coronavirus spread.
- 198 new deaths for a total of 9,508, including 4,953 lives claimed at long-term care facilities — or 52.1% — and another 133 at veteran homes. Also:
- 52.5% white, 19.7% black, 17.3% Hispanic, 5.3% Asian, 5.2% other.
- 1 up to age 17; 359 from age 18-49; 1,155 from age 50-64; 5,709 from age 65 and older.
- Top underlying health conditions that contributed to these deaths were cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung, renal and other chronic conditions, neurologic disability and cancer.
- Monmouth has 460 deaths — an increase of 15 over the previous day — which includes 335 at 49 long-term care facilities, or 72.8 percent of all lives lost.
- 360 new admissions for a total of 4,328 hospitalizations at 71 acute-care hospitals of persons with COVID-19 or under investigation for the disease.
- They include 1,306 individuals in critical care or intensive care units. And of those, 982 are on ventilators — or 75.2%.
- 164 hospital discharges over the last 24 hours — for a total of more than 36,000 since the end of March.
- 34 patients are hospitalized at the federal field medical stations in Edison and Atlantic City. The field stations have served 434 patients, include the now-closed Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus.
- A “spot” positivity rate of 23%, based on samples taken on May 8 — the most-recent day with complete data. A total of 433,060 tests have been performed.
- 518 of New Jersey’s 635 long-term facilities have a total of 26,476 COVID-19 cases. These include 375 nursing homes, and 260 assisted living and other adult care facilities. Click here for the most-current list of COVID-19 outbreaks.
- In Monmouth County, 49 long-term facilities reported a total of 1,840 positive cases — the fifth highest among New Jersey’s 21 counties — and 335 total deaths.
- In the state’s veteran homes — in Paramus, Menlo Park section of Edison and Vineland — 363 of 672 veterans have tested positive for COVID-19 or are under investigation.
- 133 deaths at the Paramus, Menlo Park and Vineland homes.
- 16 hospitalized veterans.
- 26 veterans who have recovered.
- In the state’s four psychiatric hospitals, 190 patients have tested positive among 1,237 total patients.
- There have been 12 patient deaths and five employee deaths.
- These facilities include Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany, Ancora Psychiatric Hospital in Winslow in Camden County, and Ann Klein Forensic Center in Trenton.
What follows is Monmouth County's breakdown of cumulative positive cases by municipality.
- Aberdeen: 213
- Allenhurst: 4
- Allentown: 7
- Asbury Park: 172
- Atlantic Highlands: 27
- Avon-by-the-Sea: 12
- Belmar: 27 (Unchanged from previous day; Belmar officials report 20 current cases after recoveries and individuals who live in other municipalities but share the Belmar 07719 zip code are removed from the borough’s total.)
- Bradley Beach: 41
- Brielle: 26
- Colts Neck: 70
- Deal: 24
- Eatontown: 233
- Englishtown: 38
- Fair Haven: 22
- Farmingdale: 13
- Freehold Borough: 349
- Freehold Township: 594
- Hazlet: 256
- Highlands: 26
- Holmdel: 218
- Howell: 575
- Interlaken: 1
- Keansburg: 151
- Keyport: 82
- Lake Como: 16 (Unchanged from previous day)
- Little Silver: 33
- Loch Arbour: 1
- Long Branch: 413
- Manalapan: 435
- Manasquan: 30
- Marlboro: 417
- Matawan: 163
- Middletown: 590
- Millstone Township: 81
- Monmouth Beach: 19
- Neptune City: 52
- Neptune Township: 413
- Ocean: 259
- Oceanport: 56
- Red Bank: 164
- Roosevelt: 6
- Rumson: 31
- Sea Bright: 9
- Sea Girt: 13
- Shrewsbury Borough: 48
- Shrewsbury Township: 9
- Spring Lake: 13
- Spring Lake Heights: 17
- Tinton Falls: 179
- Union Beach: 38
- Upper Freehold: 45
- Wall: 279
- West Long Branch: 58
Below is the video of Gov. Murphy's May 12 press briefing:
TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.