New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is holding a COVID-19 briefing Thursday after the state reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for four days straight. It’s no longer just a few hotspot counties causing the virus to spread — the problem is now widespread in the state, CBS New York reported.
Murphy said Wednesday he was self-quarantining out of an abundance caution because a senior member of his staff tested positive for the virus. He stressed he had no symptoms and has tested negative twice this week, including on Wednesday.
How to watch Murphy’s COVID-19 briefing today
- What: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy gives briefing on COVID-19
- Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Location: New Jersey
- Online stream: Live on CBSN New York in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device
Hospitalizations are increasing in the state and more schools are delaying reopenings.
“This is not something we didn’t expect. We expected a second wave to happen in the fall. But the question is how bad it gets. That means peak, and how quickly we get to that peak,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, president and CEO of University Hospital, Newark.
Dr. Elnahal said this week the hospital was already nearly at capacity with non-COVID patients. Now virus-related hospitalizations are increasing again.
“Signs are pointing that this is about to get worse,” Dr. Elnahal said. “When you start to hit levels of 3 or 4% positivity, you can expect even more admissions. And most concerningly… we did have one COVID-19 death last week for the first time in many weeks.”
“The other patients will have to delay their care even more,” Dr. Elnahal added.
State health officials say it’s mostly indoor gatherings and parties contributing to the spike, not schools or businesses. Murphy says that makes it harder to contain.
“As far as we can tell, these are mostly gatherings that are beyond our ability to effectively regulate or easily enforce compliance,” he said.