Despite Murphy’s warnings, NJ COVID cases continue to decline

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Despite warnings from state health officials that another COVID spike is coming, there are persistent signs the current outbreak is contracting.

The transmission rate (r / t) increased slightly over the weekend to 0.91, but anything below 1.0 indicates the outbreak is declining.

Hospitalizations also fell below 900 for the first time in months. Of those admitted to hospital in New Jersey, nearly a quarter are in need of life-saving care.

More encouraging, the decline in the number of new infections. The number of people testing positive for the coronavirus is down almost 16% from a month ago. The current spot positivity rate has dropped to 3.79%.

Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also show improvement. Five counties in New Jersey have been removed from CDC’s list of highest transmission risks. While the counties of Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Somerset and Union are still listed as having “substantial transmission”, they had been listed with the rest of the state as having a “transmission rate” high ”last week.

Last week, Gov. Phil Murphy expressed concern about upcoming family reunions for the holidays and more moving activities indoors. Murphy said it was “inevitable” that we would see an increase in COVID cases once this happens.

Murphy, however, did not announce any restrictions on indoor gatherings, such as Thanksgiving dinner. He pushed back on CDC recommendations that people consider postponing the celebrations for another year.

Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the state’s predictive modeling showed a peak in COVID cases in November. However, the state’s computer predictions on COVID have not been particularly reliable.

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