NJ’s daily COVID cases top 4,500, hospitalizations decline for first time in weeks

TRENTON (WCBS 880) — New Jersey’s daily coronavirus cases increased to 4,500 on Thursday, but the state’s hospitalizations declined for the first time in weeks as officials feared a post-Thanksgiving surge.

There were 4,565 new positives, with the most cases, 692, reported in Passaic County. There were 412 new cases in Bergen County and 397 in Hudson County.

The state’s seven-day average for new cases is up 9% from last week at 4,097.

However, the state reported a drop in hospitalizations after seeing increases for more than three weeks.

Hospitalizations declined from 2,902 patients on Wednesday to 2,831. There were 550 patients in intensive care and 284 on ventilators.

The state reported 39 more deaths after passing the grim milestone of 15,000 deaths earlier this week. A total of 15,096 people have now died in the state, not including 1,829 probable COVID deaths.

“This Thanksgiving, please stay safe,” Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted, urging New Jerseyans to avoid large gatherings, social distance and wash their hands. “Let's spread gratitude – not COVID-19.”

The governor also tweeted that this Thanksgiving he was “incredibly thankful for our heroic frontline who have been working around the clock to keep us all safe and New Jersey moving forward throughout this pandemic.”

On Wednesday, normally one of the busiest travel days of the year, Murphy announced that New Jersey was scrapping its previous travel advisory metrics and that all U.S. travelers entering the state from outside the immediate region should self-quarantine for 14 days amid a nationwide virus surge.

The immediate region includes New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Murphy said New Jersey “continues to strongly discourage all non-essential interstate travel at this time.”

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