COURT HOUSE - Cape May County reported the loss of two additional residents from COVID-19 complications. The individuals were both men from Middle Township, who were residents of a long-term care facility, ages 64 and 66.
The case count in the county also increased by two, with community-based cases in Wildwood and North Wildwood. The county’s total confirmed cases rose to 750. The positive news was that 32 individuals were moved from the active case count to off quarantine, bringing the total of recovered individuals to 597, or 80% of all confirmed cases. The active cases dropped to 88 and COVID-19 fatalities and now stand at 65.
The county reported four new out-of-county positive tests of visitors who are not included in the county totals.
Today, Gov. Phil Murphy said the state saw 156 new cases overnight, with 18 additional fatalities. State totals are now 171,272 cases and 13,138 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths. The state has not added to the 1,854 presumed COVID-19 deaths announced last week.
Murphy said the positivity rate for the state remained low, at 1.92%. This is a measure of the rate of positive results in a given day’s total testing. The state’s goal is 20,000 or more tests per day.
The World Health Organization recommends a positivity rate below 5% for 14 days before a state can safely begin to open and increase interpersonal contact.
The other measure the governor relies on heavily is RT, the rate of transmission. Murphy has been focused on keeping RT below one, and it currently stands at 0.86. The RT is a measure of the retransmission of the virus from one infected individual. When the measure is below one, it means that one infected individual is likely to infect less than one other person, meaning the transmission of the virus is contained. Murphy said the RT had risen since the beginning of Stage 2 of the reopening and that it was important to keep it under control.
Other activities scheduled to reopen would go forward as planned, including amusement parks, water parks, and boardwalk rides and arcades.
The governor also thanked Communication Workers of America members, who ratified the agreement the state reached with union leadership. The agreement uses furloughs and deferred cost of living increase to avoid layoffs of a large segment of state workers.