New Jersey's coronavirus infection rate climbed to 1.35 and Gov. Phil Murphy warned of increasing cases as a result of lack of compliance with the wearing of face mask and social distancing mandates.
During a media briefing at Trenton, the governor said that the state, where transmissions peaked months earlier, is now in a "very dangerous" place.
A transmission rate above 1 indicates that the disease is spreading. New Jersey had recorded a low of 0.62 in the past weeks, but it hit 1.14 on Tuesday, the highest in at least 13 weeks. On March 21, when Murphy ordered non-essential businesses shut down, and residents to stay home, each infected individual was spreading the disease to at least five others.
It's a trend that no state wants to find itself in, but New Jersey is joining the list of states that are witnessing a rise in virus infections. The increase comes as coronavirus hospitalizations in New York continue to drop. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday said that hospitalizations in the city were down to 576, an all-time low since March 17.
The rate of infection in New Jersey is climbing, with over 2,000 cases being added in four days, CBS New York reported on Thursday. Murphy disclosed that a total of over 180,000 infections - and almost 14,000 mortalities - have been registered across New Jersey since the beginning of the crisis.
The governor said he could implement new restrictions on social gatherings as early as next week if needed, and Pennsylvania has bared propositions on Friday to employ a thousand more contact tracing personnel to help keep track of the spread of the virus.
The increase of virus cases in New Jersey has worried elected officials and public health authorities who said that young people who are attending summer parties are not taking any safety precautions.
A party that dozens of Long Beach Island lifeguards went to has been connected to 35 virus infections, the state's health commissioner said. A house party in Middletown has been pointed to as the place for 65 new cases; 52 of the people who contracted the virus were between the ages of 15 and 19, Murphy said.
New Jersey has continued to ban indoor dining, gym sessions, and other athletic or business activities. The governor warned that he may reimpose stricter rules to curb the disease's spread. Murphy did not provide any specifics but was especially disappointed of those who refuse to wear masks, and hosts and guests of parties that exceed indoor and outdoor crowd numbers.