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Latest coronavirus updates in New Jersey: Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Virus Outbreak- NJ Beach Reopenings
Posted at 5:32 AM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 14:22:47-04

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 coronavirus reopening briefing. Watch the news conference below.
Contact tracing program

  • The 18 hours of training that contact tracers receive goes deeper than just a process, Murphy said. They’re being immersed in the culture of the communities they’re working in.
  • Contact tracers are not just going to find cases they “are trained to see human faces," the governor said.
  • As of Tuesday, more than 2,200 Rutgers students and alumnus have applied to be contact tracers. Of those, 230 are currently being on-boarded in addition to the 900 tracers who’ve been working throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Reopenings

  • Museums, libraries, aquariums, and other indoor recreation facilities such as bowling alleys, batting cages, shooting ranges, and arcades on boardwalks can reopen with up to 25% capacity on July 2. Read more.
  • Gyms and fitness centers remain closed, but individualized use of facilities is allowed on an appointment-only basis. Members of the same household can use facilities at the same time.
  • Movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, nightclubs, and other indoor entertainment venues will remain closed.
  • Wearing a mask at indoor activities is required, it is not a suggestion, the governor said.
  • "We must remain extra vigilant about coronavirus when we’re indoors," Murphy said. "That’s why we’re requiring all businesses reopening to implement heightened standards of sanitation, social distancing measures, and face covering requirements."
  • NJ Transit rail and light rail service will return to a full weekday schedule on July 6. State officials are monitoring capacity limits and will adjust as appropriate.

Health data

  • The statewide total of cases since March 4 rose to 169,892.
  • The death toll rose to 12,995.
  • The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 increased on Tuesday to 1,196.
  • There are 275 people being treated in ICUs and 214 people are on ventilators.
  • The spot positivity rate for tests from June 20 was 2.83%.
  • The rate of transmission on Tuesday was 0.86.
  • Eight counties have a transmission rate greater than 1.0, and 10 counties have seen their rate of transmission increase by at least 50% over last week.
  • Murphy said overall trends over the past two weeks remain in a place where health experts and officials are comfortable with continuing with Stage 2 of reopening.
  • The governor also warned New Jersey residents that there are no excuses to let up with social distancing and the use of face coverings.
  • “I think we've always expected to see some amount of flare up,” Murphy added. “As we open up more, our risks go up, there’s no question about that.”

Mandatory quarantine for some travelers

  • Gov. Murphy discussed the newly announced travel advisory imposing a 14-day quarantine on people who travel to the tri-state area from states with a high rate of transmission of coronavirus. Read more.
  • “We welcome everyone to New Jersey but we ask them to join us in this self-sacrifice,” Murphy said.
  • The quarantine also applies to New Jersey residents who are traveling back to the state from areas with a high rate of transmission.
  • The formula for high rate of transmission was determined by the states' health commissioners.
  • “Constitutionally we’re not able to put up border checks around the state,” Murphy said.
  • An aggressive public relations campaign will target airports, train stations and other modes of travel to alert the public to the travel advisory requirements.
  • When it comes to enforcement, Murphy said state officials are relying on the public to assume a large amount of personal responsibility and accountability.
  • The state Department of Health has the ability to address individual instances of non-compliance.
  • “This is not a polite recommendation, this is a strong advisory … to do the right thing,” Murphy said. “If we see specific instances of flagrant non-compliance Judy has the power to address it.”
  • The governor said getting tested for COVID-19 is not part of the travel advisory but he urged anyone who visits the state to do so.

Latest official numbers:
As of Wednesday morning, there are 169,734 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Jersey with 12,949 coronavirus-related 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.