COURT HOUSE - June 24: Cape May County announced eight new community-based COVID-19 cases today, raising the total number of cases to 731.
The number of active cases in the county climbed to 139. 530 individuals have recovered and have moved off quarantine. The death toll inflicted by the coronavirus remains 62.
The new cases include two each in Middle Township and Wildwood, along with one each in North Wildwood, Ocean City, Upper Township and Woodbine. The health department also reported two positive tests for out-of-county individuals who are not in the county totals.
Today’s report raises the number of community-based new cases in the county in the last 48 hours to 16. For June, the county has reported 104 new cases, 79% of which have been community-based. That movement away from long-term care facilities underscores the need for individuals to take proper precautions while in public.
The county reported a positivity rate for the first two weeks of June at 3.2%, higher than the state-wide rate reported today by Gov. Phil Murphy, which was 2.83%. The county health department reminds residents that negative test results tend to trail positive tests in reporting from laboratories, meaning the county rate could be adjusted downward when all test results are available. Yet, a positivity rate higher than the state rate is cause for recommitting to proper protocols.
Murphy today said the state had 317 new cases in the last 24 hours, along with 48 additional fatalities. State totals now are 169,892 cases and 12,995 fatalities.
Murphy also announced a series of new permitted activities, further opening up the state after three months of lockdown. The governor said that museums, aquariums, and indoor entertainment centers, including boardwalk arcades, can reopen July 2, at 25% of capacity. On the same day, libraries can also reopen, with the same capacity restriction.
Saying frequently that indoor is a different reality than outdoor, Murphy emphasized that facial coverings will be required. Other standards and protocols for the new activities will be out later this week.
The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have together issued a request that visitors from high coronavirus impacted states self-quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in one of the three states.
“We welcome everyone to New Jersey, but we ask that you join us as we move in the right direction,” Murphy said.
Murphy also spoke about the partnership the state has developed with Rutgers University’s School of Public Health, for the design and implementation of a premier contact tracing program. He said the new contact tracers would receive 18 hours of training before being dispatched to county health departments. They will be trained in “the culture” of the area in which they are going to serve, Murphy said.