August 1, 2020 8:40 am
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Gov. Phil Murphy said on Friday that no one died in a New Jersey hospital from the coronavirus on Thursday.

That’s the first time that’s happened since March.

“It is a big day, not withstanding the increase in cases,” Murphy said, “That for the first time in 142 days, we had no deaths in our hospitals and that cannot be understated or underestimated.”

Murphy did announce 10 new reported deaths at his daily briefing. “Of these, seven occurred within the last five days – and three of those were on July 27, the only day with more than one confirmed death,” he said, adding, “As of the latest available hospital data, there were no in-hospital deaths reported over the 24-hour period ending 10:30 p.m. last night.”

The first reported COVID-19-related death in New Jersey was reported by state officials March 10.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Garden State currently stands at 13,923. The count of probable deaths remains at 1,875. And 699 new cases of corona were confirmed, bringing the total number of cases since the outbreak began to 181,660, officials said Friday.

More troubling, Murphy said, was the increased rate of transmission, which was 1.35 on Friday — its highest in three months.

The state’s rate of transmission, or Rt, stands at 1.35, above the key benchmark of 1. The governor has attributed the increase to a rise in indoor house parties and other events where people don’t follow mask or social distance rules.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

New Jersey’s numbers had dropped significantly in recent weeks before a slight bump upwards earlier this week, which pushed the state backward to where New Jersey was about a month ago, regarding new positive tests.

The governor attributed the increase to a rise of indoor house parties like the mansion bash that attracted 700 people last weekend. “Over the past four days, we have reported roughly 2,000 new positive coronavirus test results. We are now back, plus or minus, to where we were roughly a month ago in the daily numbers of new cases,” Murphy said on Wednesday.

Though hospitalizations dipped back below 700 patients on Thursday evening, with 695 people being hospitalized, including 113 people in intensive or critical care with 45 of those people being on ventilators.

At the same time, there are 34 states, in addition to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, where people visiting the Garden State or returning home are asked to quarantine for 14 days.

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Matt Arco may be reached at [email protected]. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip here.

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