SUMMIT, NJ - The City of Summit, for the sixth consecutive day, were notified by the New Jersey State Department of Health that there were no new cases of COVID-19 reported in Summit. The Hilltop City's cumulative case total since the pandemic began remains at 224.

Statewide, overnight health data showed numbers also trending in a hopeful direction, with 177 new positive cases reported bringing the state's overall total of COVID-19 cases to 176,963. Governor Phil Murphy -- speaking at his thrice-weekly press briefing on July 20 -- noted at the outset of his report that data could be skewed low because one testing lab was having difficulty transmitting its data to the state.

The statewide positivity rate is 2.8%, down from 3.5% on Sunday, the governor said. Positivity rate is a measure of how many people are being infected by the disease by looking at the number of people who test positive against the total number of people who are tested. 

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Murphy reported that the rate of transmission once again fell below 1 to 0.90. The rate of transmission measures how many people are being infected by a single infected person. If the number is below 1, it means the disease is slowing.  The rate of transmission had been hovering at just above 1 for most of last week.

The governor reported 798 patients in hospitals being treated for the disease with 146 of those in critical care or intensive care units, and 72 patients on ventilators.  Murphy said over the weekend that it was the first time the state reported fewer than 800 patients being treated for the disease in more than three months.

Nine new fatalities were reported, bringing the statewide total to 15,715 fatalities, which includes 13,741 laboratory-confirmed fatalities and 1,974 fatalities that were probably caused by the disease.

Editor's Note: reporting for this article was provided by Maureen Berzok.