The second wave of the novel coronavirus health crisis continues in New Jersey. But there are hopeful signs among the intimidating facts and figures.

On Sunday, the state hit a single day, all-time record of 6,046 new positive cases, and on Monday an additional 3,573 new cases were reported. Hospitalizations in the Garden State rose to 3,346 — concerning growth, though still nowhere near the levels New Jersey saw in the spring.

During his latest coronavirus update on Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy implored all Jersey residents to continue to wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and avoiding large gatherings.

But he’s also pointing out when the pandemic first exploded in the spring, New Jersey was doing about 10,000 tests a day. Now it's at times doing more than 50,000 PCR tests a day, and several other BinaxNOW and Cue Health tests not yet officially counted — making comparisons of positive case numbers difficult.

And in the spring, "spot positives were through the roof.”

He said because testing capacity has been improved so dramatically “the hard numbers are the ones that really do matter, and that’s the folks that are getting admitted to hospitals, that are in hospitals, that are getting discharged, please God, in intensive care, on ventilators.”

At the worst of New Jersey's first wave, there were about 8,000 coronavirus hospitalizations. The number of patients in the ICU was much higher than the current 637 as well. Hundreds of deaths were being reported daily; Monday's figure was 17.

Murphy stressed we are in much better shape now than we were, and a few months from now coronavirus vaccines are likely to be widely available — “but we can’t let up yet, not now when this virus is still as deadly as ever.”

He urged: "Don’t let your hair down. Don’t be the last person who died in the war, or the last person who got infected. Keep your guard up.”

“Do not think the worst of this pandemic is in the past,” the governor said. “There are families who are just now experiencing the very worst.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

READ MORE: LOVED & LOST — NJ’s lives lost to COVID-19


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