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Virus Cases Rising in NJ, Obstructed by Shore Youth Parties



Coronavirus cases in New Jersey, which a week ago had dropped to their lowest levels since the pandemic began, are on the rise again, partly corroborated by outbreaks among young adults along the Jersey Shore.

In the last seven days, New Jersey recorded an average of 416 cases a day, up 28 percent from the average two weeks earlier, according to a database maintained by The New York Times.

The increase has worried elected leaders and public health officials who say young people enjoying the summer holidays are not taking enough precautions.

A party that dozens of Long Beach Island rescuers attended was linked to 35 cases of the virus, according to the state health commissioner. Part of the home in Middletown, NJ, has been charged with 65 new cases; 52 of the infected people were between the ages of 15 and 19, said government Philip D. Murphy. And a graduation party in Westfield, NJ, farther north, resulted in 17 cases.

“I just want to be able to support parents and children once again,” Mr Murphy said Monday. “Don’t get inside. Please don’t do that. If you’re going to collect, get out. Wear a face mask. Stay away from each other.”

The head of the State Police said the parties could be linked to the continued closure of internal bars and restaurant restaurants, laying what he called “underground situation. ”

Perhaps the most striking example of this apparent thirst for summer rivelier, a party house in Jack Jackson, NJ, about 65 miles south of Manhattan, drew more than 700 people on Sunday night, and led police to issue tickets to the three organizers. More than 100 cars were parked outside, and police took more than five hours to clear the scene.

One week ago, New Jersey recorded its lowest seven-day average of new coronavirus cases a day – 224 – since the numbers peaked in early April.

The important step came even as the beaches of Jersey Shore were at their peak, Atlantic City casinos were open and cities across the state were bouncing off the streets to create lively bazaars outside.

Aid to Mr Murphy touted the achievement on Twitter, noting that New Jersey was the only state in the nation to achieve a two-week reduction in new virus cases.

On Thursday, it was New York’s turn to crow. Government Andrew M. Cuomo noted that New York had reached low levels in the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 or on ventilators. The rate of positive test results was 1.09 percent in New York – less than half the positive rate of 2.42 percent in New Jersey on Wednesday.

Mr Cuomo said he had no plans to stop New Jersey residents from coming to New York.

“I don’t know what the New Jersey quarantine could be like,” Mr. Cuomo said. “They don’t fly in New York. You have to block roads, and we’re not talking about a blockade.”

Officials with Mr Murphy’s office noted on Thursday that despite the uptick, New Jersey continues to be among the six states with the fewest new infections per day per 100,000 residents. Some of the increase in the last week may also be linked to delays in test results, which they say are sometimes delivered in large batches, reducing the number of daily cases.

On Wednesday, for example, the state reported 489 new cases of the virus; on Thursday, there were 261.

Still, the governor did not move words about the worrying trend that had the potential to undermine months of conscientious efforts to reduce the spread of the virus that has been linked to 15,809 deaths in the state.

“Over the last four months, we’ve lifted the curve,” he warned on Wednesday. “But folks, that’s a relief.”

He added: “We are now back or down – to where we were a month ago in the number of daily cases. We can’t go back. We can’t afford to go back.”

Perry N. Halkitis, an epidemiologist and dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, agreed on delays in reporting daily data on test results.

But he said the seven-day trend is alarming.

“It’s time to say,‘ Indicators are bad, ’” Mr Halkitis said. “People are just gathering with no thought in mind.”

He added, “It’s almost like we have to stop again, right now, before it’s too late.”

The risk of the virus is hit near the edge of his home: The number of Rutgers University football players infected with the virus has risen to 15 on Wednesday, health commissioner Judith said M. Persichilli. The college announced on Saturday that it had suspended team activities in person and put all players under quarantine.

Mr Halkitis said he was concerned about the reopening of schools in just over a month for in-person instruction.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is schools,” he said. “It’s absolutely an ‘uh-oh’ moment.”

George Helmy, the governor’s chief of staff, said they take any increase in virus cases seriously, and will continue to monitor any changes in the spread of the virus.

Mr Murphy said his aim is to try to open all schools to at least some in-person learning, although final decisions are being made by individual districts.

“New Jersey has the best public education system in the nation and the governor believes that in-person learning for our children is essential to their academic advancement, social and mental well-being and development, Mr Helmy said on Thursday.

“Public health informs us of all our decisions and we will continue to assess and assess our data as we get closer to the first day of school.”

Amanda Rosa contributed the reporting.




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