COURT HOUSE - June 25: Cape May County reported six new cases today, one additional fatality, and 34 patients were removed from quarantine. Also there were two positive tests from out-of-county visitors.
The new fatality was a 59-year-old Middle Township man, who was a resident of a long-term care facility.
The six new cases included three community-based, with two in Avalon and one in Cape May. The other three cases were at long-term care locations, all in Dennis Township. The county now has experienced 737 cases, with 564 off quarantine, 110 active and 63 fatalities.
Today was a busy day for news on the pandemic in New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy announced 406 new cases and 26 additional fatalities, bringing state totals to 170,196 cases and 13,018 fatalities. The governor also said that the state was adding 1,854 deaths to the list, as the virus as a probable cause. With those additions the death toll of confirmed and probable individuals stands at 14,872.
Murphy said that the state was trying to get a true picture of the devastation in lives lost to the pandemic and to bring some sense of closure to the families of the COVID-19 victims. The number of added fatalities followed from a review of death certificates, a closer look at deaths during known outbreaks where coronavirus symptoms were present and fatalities involving a “less specific coronavirus test.”
The governor said one-third of the additional COVID-19 deaths were connected to long-term care facilities.
Murphy said that Friday’s briefing would guide the reopening of K-12 schools for the 2020-2021 school year.
Asked about delays in releasing guidance for reopening casinos and indoor dining, Murphy said the release of information was imminent, but he also reiterated that the guidance would be much more extensive because it involves indoor activities.
Murphy and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli both expressed concern over a rising positivity rate in parts of the state. The positivity rate is the number of individuals who test positive relative to the total number of tests on a given day. The state positivity rate has moved up in the last week, standing now at 3.65%. Persichilli provide a breakdown by region noting that in the northern counties the positivity rate is 2.26%. The central region has a positivity rate of 3.85%, in line with the state average. The concern is for the southern region, where Persichilli said the rate stands at 5.39%.
Murphy said the rate has been growing in 16 counties in the state, and in six of those, the rate has doubled. He continued to urge people to act responsibly as they enjoyed activities that were recently shuttered.