Mercer County returns to hotspot list for COVID-19 cases

Mercer County has returned to the list of COVID-19 outbreak hotspots distributed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The last time Mercer County was on the list was April 13.

Camden, Burlington, and Atlantic Counties have also returned to the list. Gloucester and Ocean counties remain on the list.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he is concerned about the recent surge in cases in the state. House parties have accounted for more than 125 of the new cases, he said on Wednesday, calling the trend worrisome.

Over the past four days, the state has recorded 2,000 new positive COVID-19 test results.

“We are now back plus or minus to where we were a month ago in the daily number of new cases,” Murphy said at his latest press briefing on Wednesday. “We can’t afford to go backward. Let’s get back to using common sense and working as one New Jersey family to defeat COVID=19 together.”

More than 700 people attended a party in Jackson Township on Sunday night, and many of the partygoers were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Murphy said that more than 50 COVID-19 cases were linked to a series of house parties attended by teens in Middletown last week. A party on Long Beach Island has sidelined nearly three dozen lifeguards who have tested positive, Murphy said. A graduation party in Westfield resulted in 17 cases.

Fifteen members of the Rutgers University football team have also tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days.

“We simply cannot continue to have crowded house parties,” Murphy said. “They are not safe. Period. They are how coronavirus gets passed around more efficiently. They put the hard work we have all undertaken together, the millions of us since March, at risk of being undone.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said COVID-19 cases among young people are increasing, and those young people have the potential to infect parents, grandparents, and others who have underlying conditions such as diabetes. She said the percentage of confirmed cases for residents between the ages of 18 and 29 is now between 24 and 33 percent of all confirmed cases in the state. The age group made up only 12 percent of the cases in April and 22 percent in June.

On Thursday, New Jersey received 261 new positive confirmed cases of COVID-19, pushing the cumulative total to 180,970 confirmed cases. An additional 16 residents of the state have died as a result of complications from COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 13,934 COVID-19 related deaths.

While many counties in the state provide information on both the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and deaths in each municipality, Mercer County does not provide a breakdown of deaths by municipality, and its reporting of positive cases lags behind state data by a few days. A spokesman for Mercer County said the posting of municipal data on COVID-19 related deaths is being handled by municipalities. Some municipalities in the county are posting data on deaths.

According to New Jersey Department of Health data, the state received an additional 14 COVID-19 positive test results for residents of Mercer County on Thursday, bringing the county total confirmed positive cases to 8,000. A total of 571 residents have died as a result of complications from COVID-19, and another 41 deaths are “probable COVID-19” cases.

In Princeton, two new confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported since Monday, bringing the number of new cases over the past week to seven. Officials said one exposure was related to a social gathering and the other was a healthcare worker. Both residents are being isolated. Weekly case count and biweekly case counts are on the rise in Princeton.

Employees in the municipality were also informed this week that an employee in the building department tested positive for COVID-19.

A total of 205 Princeton residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Eighteen residents have died as a result of complications from COVID-19, and another 12 deaths were likely related to complications from COVID-19.

Breakdown by gender and age:

  • male, 96; female, 109
  • Positive cases by age:
    • Age 11 and under, 3
    • Ages 12-17, 3
    • Ages 18-25, 14
    • Ages 26-35, 15
    • Ages 36-45, 41
    • Ages 46-55, 29
    • Ages 56-65, 22
    • Ages 66-75, 17
    • Ages 76-85, 21
    • Ages 86 and older, 39
  • Average age of positive cases: 55
  • Average age of deaths: 84.8
  • Hospitalized: 28
  • Healthcare workers: 10
  • EMS/First Responders: 0
  • Non-Resident EMS/First Responders: 8

At Princeton University, a total of three students on campus have tested positive for COVID-19. Five test results are pending. Three students on campus were isolating, and 11 students were quarantining on campus as of July 28. Off campus, 52 students have tested positive for COVID-19, and 20 test results are pending. A total of 46 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, and 30 test results were pending as of Thursday.


  1. Just wondering what the context for this was – the numbers in Mercer county don’t seem out of line with any of the other counties in the state.

  2. I live in Princeton, and I’m very concerned about the University opening up at the end of August.
    Do they have a protocol in place for incoming students especially oversea students?

    1. This is a great question. By letting the students come back onto campus to sit in dorm rooms, the University is putting the citizens of the town at risk. The students cannot go to class but they can parade around the town and be living here? Princeton U brought Covid to Princeton, NJ via a private fundraiser with ironically big Pharma. Good to keep t his in mind. Princeton U never has enough money and the townspeople are of no concern to them.

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