New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said at a briefing Wednesday that the state suffered 275 additional CCP virus-related deaths, the highest single-day spike in COVID-19 fatalities.
This brings New Jersey’s total number of deaths from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, to 1,504.
Murphy said there were 3,088 new cases Wednesday, a drop from Tuesday’s tally of 3,361 cases, raising hopes that after hitting a peak, the number of new daily infections would steadily fall.
“Even if the rate of our increase is lessening, which it’s hard to argue it hasn’t over the past week, we have two realities that we cannot escape. One is it is still increasing,” Murphy said. “So with all due respect to this notion that we’ve found some plateau, we’re not at any plateau.”
Murphy on Tuesday announced the closure of state parks and forests, saying the move was meant to flatten the curve, referring to the projected rise, peak, and fall of COVID-19 cases.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Murphy said the drop in the number of new daily cases is cause for optimism, but called for more federal support to fight the outbreak.
Murphy said at Wednesday’s briefing he would be tightening social distancing requirements, ordering retailers—including grocery stores still allowed to operate—to limit customers, and ensure that customers and employees wear face coverings and regularly sanitize the premises.
New Jersey has been hard-hit by the virus, with its number of cases second only to New York, the hot spot of COVID-19, the disease the CCP virus causes. The New York metropolitan area, which includes northern New Jersey, Long Island, and lower Connecticut, accounts for about half of all virus deaths in the United States.
Murphy and other officials on Wednesday toured a new 550-bed field hospital in Edison at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center.
The governor said the field hospitals are critical as the state battles two lines: trying to “break the back” of the virus’ spread and “build up” hospital capacity.
“These are huge, quantum steps for us in terms of capacity,” Murphy said. “So I thank everybody associated with this. It means more than you know.”
For most people, COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.