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Latest coronavirus updates in New Jersey: Monday, August 3, 2020

Phil Murphy
Posted at 4:49 AM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 14:32:39-04

NEW JERSEY — Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New Jersey. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page.

1 p.m.
Gov. Phil Murphy held a briefing to discuss coronavirus reopening plans and Tropical Storm Isaias preparations. Watch the news conference below.
COVID-19 latest

  • The state’s restrictions on indoor gatherings are being rolled back amid a continued increase in the rate of virus transmission. Read more.
  • "We believe that some of this increase is attributable to the number of indoor house parties we’ve been seeing across the state. Indoor gatherings are not safe," Murphy said.
  • Indoor gatherings are now limited to 25 people or to 25% of a room’s capacity. House parties are capped at 25 people. Previously, indoor capacity was set at 100 people.
  • Weddings, funerals, memorial services, religious and political activities protected under the First Amendment are exempt from the new indoor restrictions and can continue to operate under the previous limit of 25% of a room’s capacity, but with a maximum of 100 people.
  • The number of new cases has reached a level the state has not seen in eight weeks. The rate of transmission has more than doubled than what it was a few weeks ago.
  • "Until we begin to see the numbers of cases decrease – not just for one day, but over at least a seven-day trend – and our rate of transmission drop appreciably over a sustained period of time, these new restrictions on indoor gatherings will remain in place," Murphy said.
  • Reminder on outdoor dining: Restaurants must have at least two of the four outer walls open in order to seat diners inside the premises, otherwise owners and managers must only serve diners outside.
  • School reopening update: Face coverings will be required for all students at all times while inside a school building unless doing so would inhibit a person’s health, such as certain students with disabilities. So-called "mask breaks" allowing students to take their face coverings off for a set period of time during the day will not be allowed, Murphy said.
  • Murphy is signing an executive order to allow eligible public employees to enroll in the State Health Benefits Plan immediately upon hire instead of waiting 60 days.
  • The governor commended Airbnb for suspending and removing listings of about 35 "problem properties" which had received complaints for operating as party houses. Read more.

COVID-19 health data

  • When asked if New Jersey was entering a "second wave" of coronavirus cases, Murphy said he doesn't think the state ever got out of the "first wave."
  • There are 264 new coronavirus cases, for a statewide total of 182,614 since March 4.
  • The spot positivity rate for tests from July 30 was 1.88%.
  • The rate of transmission has climbed to 1.48. An RT over 1.0 is considered concerning by medical experts.
  • There are 738 people hospitalized, 356 of whom are confirmed to have COVID-19 and 382 are under investigation and test results are pending.
  • There are 144 people in ICUs and 49 are on ventilators.
  • Ten more deaths were confirmed, bringing the death toll to 13,971.
  • Another 1,875 deaths remain under investigation.

Isaias preparations

  • The state is under a tropical storm warning and a flash flood watch. Read more.
  • "We’re preparing for tomorrow’s arrival of Tropical Storm Isaias," Murphy said. "Leading up to the storm, there will be rip currents along our beaches, so please take extra precaution if you’re on the beach."
  • Inland residents should expect heavy rainfall and strong winds. Coastal residents should expect possible storm surge flooding along with strong winds.
  • “There is the possibility for some trees to come down and power outages. If you experience a power outage, please call it in immediately to your electric utility,” Murphy said. “Do not attempt to drive into any flood waters.”

Latest official numbers:
As of Sunday afternoon, there are 182,350 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Jersey with 13,961 coronavirus fatalities.

For a list of drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in New Jersey, click here.

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks.

Call New Jersey's coronavirus hotline at 1-800-222-1222. You can also click here for additional information