By Ethan Resnik
Cases of Covid-19 are beginning to increase gradually as the state moves into the fall, increasing fear about a new wave of the virus and potential shoutdowns if the situation becomes worse.
Hundreds of new cases are being reported daily in New Jersey, and as of Oct. 13, 649 are hospitalized.
Two of the major hotspots driving the recent spike in cases are Ocean County and Bergen County. As of Oct. 13, Ocean county added over 120 new cases of Covid-19 and Bergen County added over 100..
The recent cases in Ocean County grabbed the attention of Gov. Murphy.
“We’re going to tackle this emergency together,” Murphy wrote in a tweet. In the same tweet he highlighted that 190 of the 796 cases on Oct. 2 were from Ocean County, and that the areas had a 15.85 percent positivity rate.
Overall, New Jersey has a population of 9 million people and has reported around 16,147 deaths and 1,787 of those being “probable” deaths. New Jersey has the 4th highest death toll in the country behind California, Texas and New York, yet the garden state continues to have the highest death rate per 100,000 people, according to NJ.com.
New Jersey has increased testing and contact tracing in these regions to combat the spread of the virus. In the last week, according to NJ.com, Warren County added the fewest cases at 1.3 cases of 10,000 residences. Cape May county saw the biggest drop in cases as the county saw a 44 percent drop in cases.
New Jersey’s cases have vastly improved after the height of the virus in April. However, public health officials suspect the reason for the alarming increase of hospitalizations due to covid is due to gyms and restaurants reopenings, as well as kids going back to school, according to NJ.com.
However, the Governor has repeatedly emphasized that there is no direct evidence to support the claim that indoor dining has increased cases.
When asked about whether he would shut down hotspot areas, according to NJ.com, Governor Murphy replied, “Whatever we would do, it would be done with the community or the county, and we’d be looking at some of the things we’ve opened, particularly inside steps we’ve taken, and assessing jointly with community leadership whether or not we should consider some of those steps.”
Some contact tracers are investigating the impact of a fundraiser held by Trump at the Bedminster golf club. The Governor said Trump should have canceled his visit after one of his top aides were diagnosed with Covid-19.
“‘To put it bluntly, the actions leading up to and during this event have put lives at risk,’” Murphy said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.