State officials brace for possible COVID-19 swell following Thanksgiving
State health officials say that they are bracing for cases of COVID-19 to surge in the days and weeks following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Gov. Phil Murphy asked New Jerseyans once again on Monday to keep their Thanksgiving gatherings to 10 people or less and to remain outdoors if possible.
“We believe this virus story gets worse before it gets better,” Murphy said.
As cases of the virus surge around the state, so do the numbers of people who need to be hospitalized. There were 333 patients with COVID-19 and COVID symptoms admitted to the hospital in the 24 hours ending Sunday night statewide. There were 247 patients discharged.
Click or tap the photo below to view the governor's briefing
There are 2,693 COVID-19 patients hospitalized overall, with 537 in the intensive care unit. There are 240 ventilators in use, according to officials.
“We are now in the midst of a second wave. We don’t know how long that wave will last,” Murphy said.
Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that it appeared that younger people are infecting older residents. Health officials say that since October, the highest coronavirus positivity rate has been not among the elderly, but people age 19-49.
“This has to stop. You need to be more careful. You need to be safer,” Murphy said.
Health officials confirmed 3,592 new cases of the virus on Monday, along with 11 deaths. The rate of transmission ticked down to 1.32
The governor also made comments about a viral video circulating around social media showing him and his family being confronted over the weekend by two irate women while the family was out dining. Murphy said that the public has a right to criticize him, but said that his children should be left out of it.
“I’m a big boy, thick skin. Doesn’t impact me at all and I’d say the same for [first lady Tammy Murphy.] Our kids are not part of that,” Murphy said.
The Murphy administration also conferred with the White House Monday afternoon about how to vaccinate 4.8 million New Jersey residents safely and effectively.
“We have to figure vaccinating six days a week, 67,000 people a day to complete that vaccination in a six-month period,” Persichilli said. “Think of it as 3,200-3,500 people a day for each county. So, it’s a big undertaking."
The health commissioner said New Jersey could receive as many as 1.1 million coronavirus vaccine doses per month by the end of January.