NJ breaks record for COVID cases for second day Sunday, weekend total is 8,935
It's nearly impossible to fathom the number of cases and deaths from the COVID-19 virus, so we added some geographical perspective. USA TODAY
New Jersey has shattered its record of newly reported coronavirus cases two days in a row, with Sunday's 4,540 new positive test results eclipsing Saturday's and raising the weekend total to nearly 9,000.
"These numbers are ALARMING," Gov. Phil Murphy said emphatically via Twitter. "We MUST redouble our efforts and crush the curve like we did last spring. Our lives literally depend on it."
Hudson County recorded the most new positive test results, with 413, followed by Camden County with 400 and Bergen County with 397.
The governor also reported an additional 18 deaths Sunday, for a total of 14,765 confirmed deaths statewide due to COVID-19. Essex County has the highest overall death toll, followed by Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex, Union and Passaic.
After a virtual summit Sunday afternoon with the governors of New York Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania, he tweeted: "Together we will follow the science, keep our region safe, and save lives." No details were provided.
Murphy took limited steps last week to try to rein in the worsening surge, ordering bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. and barring interstate games and tournaments for youth sports.
And while early results from a clinical trial of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 gave some hope, many months remain before such a vaccine could be approved, manufactured and widely distributed.
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As the pandemic's second surge escalates, cases are doubling at a faster rate, the CEO of University Hospital in Newark, Dr. Shereef Elnahal noted in a separate tweet. His hospital "isn't yet overrun," he said, because treatments are better and patients are generally younger than they were in the spring.
"But the more young people get it, the higher the chances vulnerable people will," Elnahal said.
The governor reiterated his call to "plan accordingly and keep social distancing and safety in mind" as Thanksgiving approaches.
Cases and deaths reported on a single day do not necessarily occur within the previous 24 hours. Different laboratories have different lag times between testing dates and the submission of reports to the state Health Department. The more testing done, the more cases are discovered and reported.
That's why the positivity of test results is important. The Health Department said Sunday the positivity rate on Nov. 11, the most recently available data, was 8.59 percent, down from 12.02 percent on Nov. 8.
New Jersey includes the results of approximately 45,000 PCR tests daily. Currently, it does not include the results of rapid tests in its daily reports.
The rate of transmission rose to 1.38, which means that each infected person spreads the disease to more than one other person.
The number of people hospitalized increased slightly, to 2,004, as of Saturday night. Slightly fewer than one-fifth are in intensive care units, and 135 were on ventilators.
Lindy Washburn is a senior healthcare reporter for NorthJersey.com. To keep up-to-date about how changes in the medical world affect the health of you and your family, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.