New Jersey

NJ Breaks Its Case Record, Again; Gov. Murphy Amends Outdoor Gathering Rules

The Garden State crossed a milestone 6,000 cases on Sunday, two days after surpassing 5,000 positive cases for the first time

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Two days after reporting more than 5,000 cases for the first time, New Jersey's state health department recorded over 6,000 positive cases on Sunday, raising questions of whether the Garden State was already feeling the impact of a post-holiday spike.

It's been more than nine months since the Garden State recorded its first confirmed case of the virus and the state's still smashing single-day records, day after day. Including the latest figure reported on Sunday, New Jersey has surpassed its former single-day case record set back in April nine times in the past three weeks.

The previous record set in New Jersey back on April 17 was 4,391. As of Sunday, that new high hit 6,046, Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted.

Roughly 1 out of every 250 people in New Jersey has tested positive for COVID-19 in just the last week.

Murphy has rolled back a number of restrictions limiting the size of gatherings and halting a number of indoor activities altogether, but he's not ruled out larger-scale restrictions. He reiterated his stance on "Morning Joe" Friday, saying "everything is on the table."

Come Monday, outdoor gatherings will be capped in the state to 25 people, Murphy first announced last week. The previous limit was set at 500 before Murphy lowered it to 150 a couple weeks ago.

On Saturday - the same day the state's ban on indoor youth and high school sports began - Murphy announced an amendment to his Executive Order on the limits for outdoor gatherings. Entertainment venues, he said, such as movie theaters and concert venues, can continue to hold performances at the venue's maximum indoor capacity as long as they are held outside.

The governor urged people to be especially conscious with Christmas coming up just as he had done for Thanksgiving. It's still too early to tell if climbing rates could stem from Thanksgiving travel because the virus incubation period is 10 to 14 days.

One mayor in the state thinks his city is already experiencing a post-holiday case spike. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted Saturday that cases in his city jumped past 200, an almost 50 percent increase from what was the city had previously been seeing.

Hospitalizations have continued to climb in New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported Sunday. The state added another 124 patients to hospitals statewide.

The governor recently unveiled his winter plan last week that called for an overall of hospital capacity resources and creating new metrics that would trigger necessary regional or statewide restrictions based on hospital conditions.

"We're closely monitoring hospital capacity and have implemented triggers to ensure hospitals have what they need," Cuomo said in a press release Sunday.

"Public health experts agree households and private gatherings are a major driver of transmission right now, demonstrating once again that it is our actions that determine the infection rate," he added.

New York added another 9,700 cases on Sunday as the virus continues to spread across the Empire State. The rolling seven-day positivity average now sits above 4 percent in 9 of the state's 10 regions. Only the Southern Tier holds the lowest stat just above 2 percent.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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