TRENTON, NJ -- Daily positivity dropped to 1.65% in New Jersey, "a really good number," according to Gov. Phil Murphy, who announced the overnight numbers during his COVID-19 press briefing on Monday, Aug. 17, in Trenton.
The governor announced 316 new positive test results, bringing the statewide cumulative total to 187,767 since March 4.
"Daily positivity for tests recorded on Aug. 13, last Thursday, was 1.65%. That's a really good number and it is the third day in a row that was less than the day before," Murphy said. "The statewide transmission rate, unfortunately, has crept up to 1.03. I'm not shocked given the volume of positive tests we've had."
Murphy noted that about 98% of the folks who are getting tested right now are testing negative.
"It is somewhat a statement to the enormous testing capacity we have in place right now," he said.
Additionally, the governor announced that there were 472 patients being treated in hospitals. Of that total, 91 were in intensive care and 38 were on ventilators. He also reported another four fatalities now confirmed to be from COVID-19 complications.
"Of the four that we are reporting today that are confirmed, one is from August 11. The other three are from July 9th, July 2nd, and May 11th respectively," Murphy said.
These four deaths bring the statewide total of confirmed COVID-19 deaths to 14,077, with an additional 1,839 probable deaths. In hospitals yesterday, 10 more deaths were reported. However, they are not yet lab-confirmed, and thus are not in those numbers, according to the governor.
Gov. Murphy also reported "enhanced compliance at numerous Jersey Shore outdoor bars and clubs this weekend to ensure proper social distancing among patrons and those waiting to get in" and thanked management and patrons for their compliance.
Still No Date for Indoor Dining
Despite the declining positivity rate, Gov. Murphy yet again refused to offer a target date when indoor dining could resume.
"We are trying to get to yes... that's all I can say is that we're trying to get there," Murphy responded, without elaborating what it would take to get to a point when indoor dining could resume. "We're not there yet, but we're trying like heck to get there. We want to get there sooner than later."
Later in the news briefing, Murphy was asked how restaurants can even prepare for indoor dining, thinking it might get pulled again like it did last time.
"We are keenly aware of the fact that we had to make an abrupt and sadly, it brings me no joy," he responded. "I know it wasn't pleasant for anybody in the industry, but we had no choice. But it brings us no joy to have to make an abrupt decision. So the extent to which we get to yes, I don't think Judy or I or Ed or anyone else will sign onto it unless we believe at that point that we're full speed ahead."