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May 04, 2020

COVID-19 hospitalizations in South Jersey beginning to level off

Also, the number of people in critical or intensive care statewide has declined for six consecutive days

Illness Coronavirus
South Jersey COVID-19 hospitalizations Screenshot via YouTube/New Jersey Office of the Governor

COVID-19 hospitalizations in South Jersey appear to have peaked as the curve begins to flatten.

The number of coronavirus hospitalizations may have finally peaked in South Jersey as the curve is "beginning to flatten" across the region, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

A recently as last Wednesday, the number of people being hospitalized with COVID-19 in South Jersey was still on an upward trajectory.

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The scale of hospitalizations – and coronavirus patients, in general – has been much lower in South Jersey than in either North or Central Jersey, where COVID-19 hospitalizations also continue to decrease.

The rate at which COVID-19 cases double continues to slow across the state, but all seven South Jersey counties — Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem — are seeing cases spread at a faster pace than every other New Jersey county except for Mercer County in Central Jersey.

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Cape May County is seeing COVID-19 cases double every 24 days, which is the slowest of any county across the region. In neighboring Cumberland County the number of cases is doubling every 12.5 days, the fastest of any county across New Jersey. But Murphy said Monday that "the progress is unmistakable."

Coronavirus case numbers remain far less in South Jersey than in the other two regions of the state. South Jersey has had 11,348 confirmed coronavirus cases and 471 deaths due to COVID-19 as of Monday afternoon. All seven counties rank in the bottom half of the state for total number of COVID-19 patients and deaths due to the virus.

New Jersey reported 1,621 additional positive cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the state's total to 128,629. The state also recorded an 45 more deaths due to the virus, raising its total number of fatalities from the virus to 7,910. Those numbers are sharply lower than numbers reported for Saturday, but Murphy said a network outage on Sunday prevented all cases from being processed.

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Nevertheless, hospitalization numbers continue to improve across the state. There were 5,287 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 as of Monday, which is a drop of 1,000 people in the last five days.

And the number of people in critical or intensive care was 1,610 – that number of patients has declined for six straight days.

Lastly, ventilator use is at its lowest levels in over a month, as the number had dropped to 1,189 as of Monday.

"Our hospitals continue to show the positive trends we want and need to see if we are to get ourselves in a steady position to get on the road back toward the responsible restart of our economy," Murphy said. "These numbers are becoming the underpinnings of our overarching ideals that public health creates economic health, and that data determines dates." 

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