Murphy as NJ’s coronavirus cases double: Don’t travel. Mostly.
TRENTON — New Jersey's daily number of novel coronavirus cases has doubled since last month, reaching about 1,000 each day, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Monday.
The spike in cases stems from “community spread," and not a single decision to reopen part of the state's economy, she said. Though there were recent spikes in Ocean County and in higher education institutions, she added, the increase is “widespread” across the state.
A review of cases that excluded schools and congregant living health care facilities, showed the biggest share of outbreaks stem from gatherings and parties, as well as day care and on farms, she said.
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy advised residents to continue to use masks, keep social distance and quarantine if exposed to the virus.
“I would just plead with people to use common sense,” he said.
New Jersey's cases have also reached the level at which the state travelers from other states with high COVID-19 levels must quarantine.
Murphy advised residents “not to travel, frankly," but said essential travel for work would be OK.
The quarantine, which New Jersey adopted along with New York and Connecticut, applies to states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents on a seven-day average, or with a 10% or higher positivity rate over seven days.
Murphy said Monday his teams had been in touch with those from neighboring states, but didn't say whether he expected New Jersey to be listed on New York's quarantine advisory, which will next be updated Tuesday.
On Monday, Murphy reported about 1,200 new cases overnight, putting the overall figure at 223,000. There were four deaths reported overnight, leaving the toll at 1,425.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness or death.