NJ passes new COVID milestone as school outbreaks spike
As the COVID outbreak shows signs of waning in New Jersey, the state has passed a new milestone: 1 million positive tests.
More than a million New Jersey residents have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus using the PCR testing method since the outbreak began, according to the state's COVID dashboard.
The state also recorded another 37 deaths attributed to COVID, bringing the total to 24,593.
However, the number of new positive tests is dropping and the state's rate of transmission has dropped below 1.0 for the first time in more than a month. An r/t below 1.0 indicates the outbreak is contracting, not expanding.
At the same time, the number of outbreaks in New Jersey schools has seen a big spike. The state is reporting a 60% spike in the number of outbreaks in less than a week. From 23 last week, to 39 this week.
The number of students and staff members in New Jersey schools linked to these outbreaks has more than doubled, to 219.
With Governor Phil Murphy ordering all students back to full-time in-class instruction, a growing number of schools have been forced to go back to remote instruction due to a high number of positive COVID tests.
Still, Murphy claims New Jersey is faring better than other states, and he credits his mask mandate for keeping the number of outbreaks comparatively low. The governor cited two CDC studies that claim schools without a masking policy were 3 1/2 times more likely to suffer a COVID outbreak.
"We take no joy in requiring masks," Murphy says, "But these studies show the benefits of masking as part of a layered approach to safety are indisputable."
School Outbreaks by County (https://covid19.nj.gov/)
- 5 outbreaks in Atlantic County; with 16 linked cases
- 3 outbreak in Bergen County; with 15 linked cases
- 0 outbreaks in Burlington county
- 2 outbreaks in Camden County; with 6 linked cases
- 1 outbreak in Cape May County; with 3 linked cases
- 2 outbreaks in Cumberland County; with 12 linked cases
- 4 outbreaks in Essex County; with 16 linked cases
- 1 outbreak in Gloucester County; with 7 linked cases
- 2 outbreaks in Hudson County; with 9 linked cases
- 1 outbreak in Hunterdon County; with 3 linked cases
- 6 outbreaks in Mercer County; with 30 linked cases
- 5 outbreaks in Monmouth County; with 23 linked cases
- 2 outbreaks in Morris County; with 8 linked cases
- 0 outbreaks in Middlesex County
- 0 outbreaks in Ocean County
- 1 outbreak in Passaic County; with 50 linked cases
- 0 outbreaks in Salem County
- 2 outbreaks in Somerset County; with 14 linked cases
- 1 outbreak in Sussex County; with 4 linked cases
- 1 outbreak in Union County; with 3 linked cases
- 0 outbreaks in Warren County