New Jersey’s number of hospitalized coronavirus patients snuck up past 1,000 on Tuesday for the first time since July. Earlier this week, the state reported 1,010 patients remained hospitalized, adding another 62 to the total on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called the state’s recent increase in COVID cases “sobering.”
“We’re reporting 1,663 new positive cases, pushing our cumulative total to 231,331,” he wrote on Twitter. “These numbers are sobering. We are still in the midst of a pandemic and need everyone to take this seriously. Wear a mask. Social distance. Wash your hands.”
A follow-up tweet mentioned an additional 14 deaths. As of Thursday, the state’s death toll had reached over 16,320.
The state has been grappling with a recent spike in infections, although Murphy told Fox 5 New York that the numbers remain lower than what officials were seeing in the spring.
On Tuesday, Newark announced a series of restrictions that will be enforced for the next two weeks in order to stifle an impending spike in COVID-19 cases. All stores except supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations are ordered to close at 8 p.m., all restaurants and bars must end indoor service at 8 p.m. and outdoor service at 11 p.m., and all patrons must undergo screening before entering.
Barbershops, beauty parlors and nail salons must return to an appointment-only format and all gyms must sanitize for 30 minutes every hour. All sports activities and open park practices and games in East Ward have been canceled.
“Newark is discouraging all parties, indoor and outdoor festivals, and large family gatherings until further notice,” an update on the city’s website said, adding that trick-or-treating this weekend is “strongly discouraged.”
Murphy also signed an executive order this week mandating workplace safety protocols.
“New Jersey’s workers have kept our state moving forward throughout #COVID19,” Murphy tweeted Wednesday. “With today’s Executive Order, we’re ensuring they have the protections they need and deserve to stay healthy and do their jobs safely.”