The United States on Thursday recorded more than 116,000 new coronavirus cases, another all-time high and the second-day in a row where the tally has exceeded 100,000.
In New York, the number of new cases statewide jumped to nearly 3,000, up from 2,126 the prior day and the highest it has been since early May.
Within the Northeast, New York and Pennsylvania had the highest daily infections. Connecticut, which reported 1,515 new infections, is recommending people stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
In New Jersey, health officials reported another 2,104 cases overnight—the third time the daily case count soared past 2,000 in the last week. Meanwhile, hospitalizations have tripled in the last two months with more than 1,200 patients hospitalized with a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus
On Thursday, he said he was “close” to ordering new lockdown measures to fight the spread of COVID-19 cases that have surged across the state for weeks.
“Bear with us, we will clearly be taking action,” Murphy said during a press briefing in Trenton. “I hope it will be action that balances all of the challenges and certain interests we have.”
Murphy would not detail what restrictions he would take but said the spike in the state’s positivity rate to 7.74 percent was “unacceptable.”
NJ's state epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan told Gothamist/WNYC that some cases were associated with sports, schools and workplaces.
“But the majority of cases, we don’t easily have a way of tracing to a single exposure. A lot of these cases are likely related to your routine gatherings such as homes,” she said, adding that no specific outbreaks have been tied to restaurants.
Dr. Tan also said the source of outbreaks across the state varied by region. Some cases in the south and central part of the state were associated with sports, while cases in the northeast were linked to community exposure, she said.
Murphy has discouraged unnecessary travel but has not implemented any stay at home order. Cities like Paterson, Hoboken and Newark, however, have issued curfews for businesses.
Across the state, indoor dining remains capped at 25 percent capacity and indoor gatherings are also limited to 25 people or 25 percent capacity, whichever is less. Events like funerals, weddings and political activities are capped at 150 people.
Murphy’s announcement of imminent lockdown measures is the first time the governor has hinted at a more broad brush approach to curbing the second wave of the virus. When cases spiked in Lakewood last month, Murphy sent a “hot spot team” to set up new testing sites and help the local health department with contact tracing efforts. The same model is being used in Newark, where the positivity rate is 12 percent, as well as in Elizabeth and Atlantic City.
The state is also providing additional support to nine counties seeing surges.
“The hot spots teams will continue to be center stage but I think we collectively all of us think we need to augment that with some broader steps,” Murphy said.