New positive cases of the coronavirus have continued to rise in New Jersey, with state reported data showing a 10.4 percent positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average per 100,000 people.
The Garden State recorded 1,283 positive cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. It's the second highest daily total for the state since May 23, when 1,394 positive tests were reported by state health officials. The highest daily total since then was reported 10 days ago, data shows, when 1,301 positive results were reported on Oct. 8.
Recent outbreaks in the state amid college students and in parts of Ocean County have driven up the daily positive tests in New Jersey, but community spread is being seen throughout the state.
Hospitalizations have ticked up, Gov. Murphy said last week. On Thursday, the state reported 733 COVID hospitalizations, the highest total since Aug. 5. Its new daily caseload has nearly doubled in recent weeks amid upticks in Ocean and Monmouth counties.
"We need to get these numbers down," Murphy said on Thursday. "Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands."
To date, at least 14,422 people have died from coronavirus-related complications. Another nearly 1,800 deaths are suspected to be due to COVID-19.
Gov. Phil Murphy acknowledged in a CNBC interview last week that "our numbers are up, no question about it, over the past several weeks" due to some hotspots that are starting to turn more widespread. He said he didn't foresee another total shutdown, but noted, as he did last week, "We're much more likely to use a scalpel and go into a particular community." The problems are specific, as in New York.
Murphy also joined the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, in urging families to have more scaled back celebrations for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, as the battle to keep coronavirus from spreading drags on into its eighth month and beyond.
"We urge you to not gather around the dining room table with anyone outside your immediate household," Murphy said at a press conference on Friday. "And if you do, to limit that reach to only a limited number of close relatives or friends with whom you've been with throughout this pandemic, and to move — if at all possible — your celebration outdoors."