On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) announced the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in New Jersey has increased by eight, according to an article on NJ Advance Media. There are now a total of 23 cases in the state.
“My guess is it gets worse before it gets better,” Murphy said. “And that’s not just a statement about New Jersey. That’s a statement about America and the world. We have been preparing for that and we just have to continue to do what we can to stay out ahead of that.”
Four of these new cases are located in Bergen County, with two in Middlesex County and two in Monmouth County, according to the article. The individuals affected range from 17 to 66 years old.
New Jersey health officials also announced Wednesday they have found two new cases that could have resulted from “community spread,” according to NJ Advance Media.
“Simply put, community spread is defined as person-to-person transmission without exposure to a confirmed case,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, according to the article. “Community spread indicates that the coronavirus is (among) us. We have an expectation that that may be the case.”
Persichilli said they do not currently have enough information to identify the county or counties in which the community spread infected people live, according to the article.
“We just don’t have enough information,” Persichilli said, according to the article. “Contact tracing takes a while and it relies on the condition of the patient. As I’ve said in the past, this is a rapidly evolving situation.”
These cases come after state officials announced the first coronavirus death in New Jersey on Monday, The Daily Targum previously reported.
“We are sad to report the first death in a case of COVID-19 in New Jersey,” state officials said, according to the Targum. “Our prayers are with the family during this difficult time. We remain vigilant to doing all we can — across all levels of government — to protect the people of New Jersey.”
The patient was a 69-year-old man from Bergen County who had pre-existing health conditions, according to the Targum.
New Jersey has also been under a state of emergency since Monday, as cases in the state continue to rise, according to the Targum.
“The State of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource, across all levels of government, to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,” Murphy said, according to the Targum.