TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Governor Phil Murphy says that a second wave of the coronavirus is not off in the future, it's happening.
"It is coming and it is coming now," Murphy said.
The governor of New Jersey said many cases are linked to small gatherings in private homes.
"Get back to the level of vigilance you showed six months ago so we can beat back this second wave," he said.
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There were 1,477 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the state with a 1.25 rate of transmission.
Essex County, with 241 cases, remains the biggest concern. Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Passaic, and Union counties also each recorded more than 100 additional cases.
There are 1,072 patients hospitalized, 846 confirmed COVID-19 positive and 226 people waiting for test results with suspected cases. 217 patients are in intensive care with 79 ventilators in use.
The state reported eight additional coronavirus deaths, bringing the statewide total of confirmed deaths to 14,539.
Meantime, Governor Murphy said that 350 contact tracers are undergoing advanced training and coaching and 100 new contact tracers will be deployed by November 4.
An additional class of contact tracers is to begin training on November 2, and within two weeks, a total of 2,100 contact tracers will be working throughout New Jersey.
The state is recording 33,000 tests per day and has conducted more than 4.5 million tests to date.
An additional 2.6 million of Abbott Labs BinaxNOW antigen rapid tests are also available.
Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order providing mandatory health and safety standards to help protect all New Jersey workers during the pandemic. The governor said, "We took this step because the federal government hasn't." Details on the order are available at: http://covid19.nj.gov/safe