TRENTON, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday urged New Jerseyans to stop throwing indoor house parties, saying the state is "back to where we were roughly a month ago in the daily number of new cases."
An “increasing” number of COVID-19 cases are being traced to indoor house parties, including 50 positive cases linked to a soiree thrown by teenagers in Middletown last week, Murphy said during a briefing Wednesday afternoon.
Nearly three dozen lifeguards tested positive for COVID-19 after they attended a party on Long Beach Island, he said. The state is also monitoring the after-effects of a 700-person party that police in Jackson broke up over the weekend.
“Over the past four days, we’ve reported roughly 2,000 new positive coronavirus test results,” he said. “We’re now back to where we were roughly a month ago in the daily number of new cases.”
“Let me say at the outset: I get it. We’ve all had our routines turned upside down for the past four months, and we want to blow off some steam with friends,” Murphy said. “But indoor house parties spread coronavirus more efficiently.”
“We can have an enjoyable summer. We can gather together with our friends. But only in small groups, and hopefully only outdoors,” he added. “When there are hundreds of people crammed into a house where the air conditioning system is simply blowing the air around, and where people are not wearing face coverings, you have also invited coronavirus to your party.”
Murphy reported 18 new COVID-19 deaths and 489 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the state's case total to 180,766 and its death toll to 13,923. The state is currently investigating 1,875 probable COVID-19 deaths.
As of Tuesday, 761 people were hospitalized with confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, 49 of whom were on ventilators, he said. The state’s rate of transmission still stands at 1.14.
“All of the metrics in our healthcare system continue to trend positively,” he added. “But we’re not out of the woods yet. We still need to practice personal responsibility and common sense.”