State health officials: COVID-19 cases rising slightly in Monmouth, Ocean counties

State health officials on Friday zeroed in on rising case numbers of COVID-19 in Monmouth and Ocean counties as small daily increases in coronavirus data statewide are attracting scrutiny.
The uptick is possibly due to more tests for the virus.
"The system feels to us as though it is working. That does not mean that there is not concern," said Gov. Phil Murphy.
"We cannot let our guard down. We must keep up all public health measures that have allowed us to flatten the curve of COVID-19 in our state," said Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli.
"While it's higher than we may like, it's among the lowest in the country, and so it does speak to the sheer capacity in volume of our testing reality in New Jersey," Murphy added.
"In particular we have seen very large increases in cases in Ocean and Monmouth counties," Persichilli said. She added those cases may be connected to parties or even funerals and that they are also occurring primarily among young people. "The overall numbers, per 100,000 are high and it is concerning."
Murphy also defended his millionaires tax deal that was announced Thursday that will hike taxes on the rich, and send rebate checks to families just a few months before he and the entire state legislature are up for re-election.
"Anybody who gets that check will not view it as a gimmick. This is putting money into the backbone of our state, the middle class, and those who dream and aspire to get there," Murphy said.
Republicans have said the millionaires tax increase will cause more wealthy people to flee the state with the increase projected to take in nearly $400 million.