New Jersey added another two states – California and Massachusetts – to its ever-growing travel advisory list from which travelers into New Jersey, Connecticut and New York must self-quarantine for 14 days.
All told, there are 45 states and territories where outbreaks of COVID-19 are surging, as New Jersey qualifies for its own travel restrictions amid a second wave of the virus.
Along with the Garden State, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania all qualify for the travel advisory – having met a threshold of a positive test rate of 10 people per 100,000 residents, or a positivity rate above 10 percent, over a seven-day rolling average – but do not appear on the updated advisory.
Gov. Phil Murphy, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week that restrictions would not be possible between their states given their interconnectivity. Nonetheless, they continued, non-essential travel should be avoided as the region and much of the nation coasts into a second wave.
New York does not qualify for the travel restrictions.
There is no practical way to quarantine New York from New Jersey and Connecticut.
— New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
“There is no practical way to quarantine New York from New Jersey and Connecticut. There are just too many interchanges. There are just too many interconnections,” Cuomo said last week. “It would have a disastrous effect on the economy. We’re going to be working with Connecticut and New Jersey to see how we can help them with their spikes.”
Along with the addition of California and Massachusetts the updated list of states and territories are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.
As of Tuesday, New Jersey’s newest daily count spiked to 1,663 positive cases of COVID-19, and has been marking more than 1,000 new cases each day for the past week. In the middle of July, the state was seeing roughly 400 new cases a day.
On Tuesday, Union and Essex counties marked over 200 new cases, while Bergen, Hudson, Middlesex and Passaic counties all marked more than 100 new cases.
“The big numbers these days are back to the same six or so counties that are in the metro-New York reality,” Murphy said in a radio interview with WCBS 880.
Over the past week, New Jersey logged close to 1,000 total hospitalizations with double-digit COVID-19 fatalities reported each day—both things the state has not seen in months; they were half of that in August.
At the start of the month, the lion’s share of new cases were traced back to Lakewood, a Jewish-majority, ultra-Orthodox township in Ocean County and the seventh most populated municipality in New Jersey.
That is no longer the case, with Tuesday data showing Ocean County in 10th place, having logged only 71 new cases. Murphy credited the slowdown of the outbreak to hyperlocal restrictions, which he has favored over a blunt statewide shutdown of business and public gatherings—like what was done during the first wave of the virus in March and April.
“It appears to have worked, and that’s plussing [sic] up testing, [contact] tracing, enforcement, working with the community,” Murphy said on Tuesday.
Local restrictions rolled out on Monday by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka – such as earlier restaurant closures – were the same kinds of “scalpel” restrictions, Murphy said.
In Hoboken, starting on Oct. 29, bars and restaurants will have to begin closing by midnight every night. And large gatherings with more than 25 people or one-quarter of the building’s occupancy could lead to a $1,000 fine, Hoboken officials announced this week.