New Jersey using pandemic models to better plan and prepare for COVID cases

New Jersey COVID-19 live updates, news and information

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Thursday, December 10, 2020
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As New Jersey grapples with rising COVID numbers, Governor Phil Murphy says the state has created pandemic models, predicting what may happen with the pandemic in the Garden State.

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey reported nearly 4,700 new coronavirus cases and 91 new deaths on Wednesday. Though those numbers are troubling, the governor says it could be much worse.

"The more people who contract the virus, the more people who will eventually need hospitalization, a subset in intensive care, a subset for ventilators and sadly, a subset who we will lose," said Governor Phil Murphy.

As New Jersey grapples with rising COVID numbers, Murphy says the state has created pandemic models, predicting what may happen with the pandemic in the Garden State. Under a worst-case scenario, as can be expected, cases and hospitalizations are expected to rise.

"As we have said, protecting the ability of our healthcare system to treat the ill is of our paramount concern. And if the numbers begin to roll in, where the ability to put that into question, as is the case with these models, we will have no choice but to act," said Governor Murphy.

Under a moderate case scenario, health experts say the outlook is much better. Thousands less are expected to contract the virus and end up in the hospital. The health department says if people continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and limit contact with people outside of their households, the COVID situation will improve across the state.

"Under these assumptions, we see a path where our hospital metrics, all of them, all of them stay within the safety zone," said Governor Murphy.

Like other states, New Jersey is waiting on a vaccine but health leaders warn while federal approval could come this week, that news does not give the green light to let your guard down. The state is hoping for the moderate outcome but says the public needs to do its part.

"We need everyone to take this virus seriously. Please mask up, social distance, wash your hands frequently. If you have been exposed get tested, and if you don't feel well, stay home," said Judy Persichilli, Commissioner, of the New Jersey Department of Health.

"While we can see the light at the end of the tunnel - and it is real - and we can begin to envision an end date - also real - we have to hunker down in the meantime and keep our focus. This is no time for any of us to get lax," said Governor Murphy.

The governor says the models can always change and nothing is off the table when it comes to restrictions. He is urging everyone to get tested and says there are over 400 testing sites across the state.


Murphy is urging New Jersey residents to cooperate with contact tracers amid the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases.

During a news conference on Monday, Murphy said the rate of non-cooperation with COVID-19 contact tracers is up to a "whopping" 74% of cases.

"Remember, our contact tracers are not on a witch hunt," Murphy said. "We urge you, please work with our contact tracers and do your part to end this pandemic."

Murphy said there are now 30 contact tracers per 100,000 New Jersey residents.

The governor also urged state residents to download the COVID Alert NJ app to aid in the contact tracing effort.

Governor Murphy announced positive news on the vaccine front during Monday's press conference, estimating 300,000 to 500,000 doses of the vaccine will arrive in New Jersey this month.

"We're now talking about a matter of days before we get our first shipment," said Murphy.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.