NJ now has the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., 17 more deaths reported Tuesday

Gov Murphy
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy gives a press briefing in Newark on Tuesday.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said on Tuesday that 3,675 residents have now tested positive for the coronavirus. A total of 846 new positive cases were reported Tuesday.

Another 17 residents of New Jersey have died as a result of complications from the coronavirus, the largest single-day increase in deaths in the state since the pandemic began. Forty-four New Jersey residents have died as a result of complications from COVID-19.

“This is a sobering report,” Murphy said about the fact that New Jersey is now number two behind New York for coronavirus cases. He repeated a statement he has made several times over the last week, saying, “We are at war.”

State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said that nine of the 17 residents who died over the last day lived in long-term care facilities. Patients in at least 19 long-term care facilities in the state have tested positive for COVID-19, Officials are considering shutting one of the facilities in the northern part of the state down.

The state started requiring commercial testing labs to report results directly to them as of Tuesday, along with retroactive results from the last few weeks. Persichilli said officials have reviewed about 12,000 test results from seven labs, and 27 percent of the results were positive.

“That’s a really important number,” Persichilli said. “That will help us in our predictive modeling.”

Total county by county cases:

  • Mercer County: 58
  • Middlesex County: 277
  • Somerset County: 102
  • Burlington County: 42
  • Hunterdon County: 25
  • Bergen County: 701
  • Essex County: 342
  • Monmouth County: 288
  • Union County: 246
  • Hudson County: 234
  • Passaic County: 216
  • Morris County: 204
  • Ocean County: 180
  • Camden County: 51
  • Gloucester County: 19
  • Sussex County: 18
  • Warren County: 15
  • Atlantic County: 6
  • Cape May County: 3
  • Cumberland County: 2
  • Salem County: 1

Another 645 cases are still under review to determine where the people live. Murphy noted that the most densely populate counties in the state have the highest number of cases.

In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, Murphy closed all schools in the state last week and issued an order on Saturday for residents to stay at home, except for essential travel. He also closed all non-essential retail, banned social gatherings, and said people must practice social distancing. He promised that law enforcement will prosecute people who blatantly violate his order.

“Thanks, New Jersians who stay home. Social distancing works,” Murphy said, adding that whether it’s parties or other gatherings, law enforcement officers will issue citations to “knuckleheads” who violate the order.

As an example, Murphy said charges are being brought against a man who got into a fight with an employee at Wegman’s in Manalapan. The man coughed on the employee and told her after doing so that he had the coronavirus. He then refused to cooperate with the police and wouldn’t give them his name or driver’s license for 40 minutes. He was charged with making terroristic threats, harassment, and obstructing law enforcement.

“Up and down the state, we will not take any noncompliant behavior,” Murphy said.

He also said if water utilities in the state don’t voluntarily suspend shutting off people’s water for nonpayment, he will force them to do so.