NJ sounds alarm over uptick in COVID cases

Health officials in New Jersey are sounding the alarm about an uptick in COVID cases, as the positive test rate in the state is now around 3 percent for the first time in months.

Like in New York, the clusters are focused in areas with large Orthodox Jewish communities.

In Lakewood Township, the positivity rate has risen to a staggering 27 percent and state leaders have declared it the number one health priority in New Jersey.

At least 20 contact tracers have already been sent to the area, trying to track the origins of individual infections. The state will also now double the number of daily tests it does to be able to handle at least 1,000 a day.

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While a specific source is uncertain, Lakewood is home to one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities on the east coast, and state officials are looking into whether recent holidays played a role.

Governor Phil Murphy says he intends to hold his daily press briefing int he area on Friday where he will meet with local elected leaders and law enforcement officials.