Concerns grow in New Jersey over rise in COVID-19 cases, indoor parties blamed

On a day when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo praised the continuous decline in COVID-19 cases across his state, the concern is growing in New Jersey over a recent uptick in cases.

Governor Phil Murphy announced the most recent numbers on Thursday, with roughly 2,000 new cases added over the last four days and an additional 16 confirmed deaths over the last 24 hours.

“Mostly young people, not only, but mostly, congregating indoors, lacking in ventilation on top of each other, no face coverings, sedentary for long periods of time,” Murphy said.

Even with the rise, however, New Jersey has come a long way from April 30 when there were more than 450 COVID-19 deaths reported in a single day.

Cuomo has said that he will work with and support the Garden State and ruled out the possibility of adding New Jersey to New York’s list of restricted states where people must quarantine.

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“I don’t know how you could quarantine New Jersey,” Cuomo said. “They don’t fly into New York, you’d have to blockade roads and we are not talking about blockading.”

Health officials are urging people to remember that the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over yet. 

“The virus is here, it’s not going anywhere until we have a vaccine or a very reliable treatment, I think we, unfortunately, have to keep our guards up,” said Dr. Purvi Parikh, an immunologist at NYU Langone Health.

Murphy has reiterated the dangers of indoor gatherings and remained firm on his decision to hold off on reopening indoor dining across the state.