TRENTON, NJ -- New Jersey's positivity rate has risen to 7.74 percent, a figure Gov. Murphy called "unacceptable" at Thursday's COVID-19 press briefing. Additionally, for nine days in a row, the state has had more than 1,000 new cases.
"While we have seen cases related to activities such as sports or school or daycare or workplaces, the majority of cases cannot be easily traced back to one exposure. They are likely related to routine gatherings in places such as your homes," said New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.
Gov. Murphy warned that more restrictions may be put into place, but he did not provide specifics or say when the new restrictions would be put into place.
"How close are we to doing something? Close," Murphy said. "We will clearly be taking action. I hope it will be action that balances all of the various challenges.
New Jersey reported 2,104 new positive COVID-19 test results, bringing the cumulative total to 247,219. Since Monday, the state has recorded 6,408 additional cases. Gov. Murphy reported 12 additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the statewide total to 14,603. He said the number of probable deaths has been adjusted to 1,800.
- Essex County: 266 New Positives. 1,922 Confirmed Deaths. 26,315 Positive Test Results
- Bergen County: 211 New Positives. 1,823 Confirmed Deaths. 26,170 Positive Test Results
- Passaic County: 202 New Positives. 1,124 Confirmed Deaths. 21,928 Positive Test Results
- Hudson County: 195 New Positives. 1,378 Confirmed Deaths. 24,306 Positive Test Results
- Camden County: 174 New Positives. 586 Confirmed Deaths. 12,497 Positive Test Results
- Union County: 151 New Positives. 1,207 Confirmed Deaths. 21,415 Positive Test Results
- Middlesex County: 148 New Positives. 1,249 Confirmed Deaths. 23,358 Positive Test Results
- Monmouth County: 127 New Positives. 782 Confirmed Deaths. 14,827 Positive Test Results
- Morris County: 93 New Positives. 696 Confirmed Deaths. 9,780 Positive Test Results
- Ocean County: 88 New Positives. 1,008 Confirmed Deaths. 17,270 Positive Test Results
Meanwhile, the governor continues to stress continued caution with Thanksgiving just three weeks away.
"I encourage everyone to follow the CDC’s guidelines and plan for a smaller dinner with your immediate household family only. We do not want anyone’s Thanksgiving to lead to more cases of COVID-19," Murphy tweeted today.
"A lot of the transmission is taking place in private settings including multigenerational households, and that's hard to regulate...It's why we're concerned about the scale of upcoming Thanksgiving celebrations," Murphy said during a morning interview with the Washington Post. He added that gatherings are taking place in households with multigenerational settings, which are hard to regulate.
New Workplace Protocols Now in Effect
Murphy also announced that an executive order that he signed last week that enforces strict protocols to protect workers went into effect today. Executive Order No. 192, sets mandatory health and safety standards to protect New Jersey’s workers during the pandemic. It requires private and public sector employers to follow health and safety protocols to protect their in-person workforces. The executive order mandates that all employers require individuals at the worksite to maintain at least six feet of distance from others to the maximum extent possible and requires employees and visitors to wear masks when entering the worksite (with some exceptions). Other protocols require employers to:
- Provide approved sanitization materials to employees and visitors at no cost;
- Ensure that employees practice hand hygiene and provide sufficient break time for that purpose;
- Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines;
- Conduct daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires, prior to each shift;
- Exclude sick employees from the workplace and follow requirements of applicable leave laws; and
- Promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite.
“Since the start of the pandemic, New Jersey workers across all sectors have risen to the challenges imposed by COVID-19,” said the governor. “The federal government has failed to provide all workers the proper standards and protections that they deserve. The executive order closes that gap to help ensure the health and safety of our workforce during this unprecedented time.”
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