By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

New Jersey has seen slight upticks in the number of daily cases, as well as the positivity rate and virus transmission rate, this week and health officials are reminding residents that masks are mandatory in outdoor public places.

If a large number of people congregate in close proximity to each other for a long period of time, residents need to wear masks. The general rule is if you can’t maintain at least six feet of distance and are in a crowded situation for about minutes, a mask should be worn.

Park authorities will continue to enforce social distancing rules in New Jersey state parks, and to take legal action if necessary, Gov. Phil Murphy said. 

New Jersey officials are concerned with cases brought in from out-of-state travelers, but the state has not yet indicated that it would take steps similar to New York, which requires incoming air travelers from hotspot states to fill out health forms on arrival. 

Twenty-two states are now on New Jersey’s on the quarantine list, with Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin being the most recent additions. 

Delaware is no longer on the quarantine list. Murphy said that state experienced a flare-up in the area of Rehoboth Beach earlier in the summer, but has since brought it under control. 

While Murphy said that it would be nice if people could be turned back from the state line, he said that New Jersey cannot legally do so. 

Murphy also announced that Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt had just tested positive for COVID-19, making him the first sitting governor in the United States to do so. 

Visitations

Parents and legal guardians will now be allowed to visit pediatric, developmentally disabled and intellectually disabled residents of long-term care facilities by appointment only.

The Department of Health will be issuing guidance on the visits later today. All visitors must wear masks and undergo screening in order to visit, and anyone displaying symptoms will not be admitted. 

Today’s numbers

New Jersey health officials reported 396 new positive cases, compared to 231 on Monday, bringing the state total to 176,278.

The positivity rate and transmission rate have increased.  For tests conducted on July 11, the positivity rate was 2.13 percent, compared to 1.51 on Monday. The virus transmission rate is now 0.93, up from 0.91 on Monday. 

Hospitalizations also rose. As of Tuesday night, hospitals reported 923 patients, including 151 critical care patients, and 78 ventilators in use. On Sunday night, hospitals reported 896 patients, including 166 critical care, and 81 ventilators in use. 

Officials also reported 27 new deaths, compared to 22 on Monday, bringing the state total of confirmed deaths to 13,660. There are also 1,974 probable COVID-19 deaths.

The daily reported death numbers could have happened over time Persichilli said, and that hospitals reported eight deaths that occurred yesterday.

Essex County officials reported 19,146 cases on Wednesday, up from 19,045 on Monday. The number of deaths has been revised downward to 1,818. 

Montclair health officials reported an increase in total cases from 462 to 463 on Tuesday, and the number of deaths remained at 54 as of that day.