NJ COVID-19 numbers rising again, as parties take place on Jersey shore

NJ COVID-19 numbers rising again, as parties take place on Jersey shore
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The rate of new coronavirus cases in New Jersey has risen in recent days with state officials blaming new outbreaks on parties along the Jersey Shore and other areas of the state.

The state has reported more than 450 new cases for several days in a row after previously cutting its seven-day average of new cases down to 233 earlier in July, according to coronavirus data collected by The New York Times. 

Information from Gov. Phil Murphy's (D) office obtained by the Times pointed to several indoor gatherings along the Shore that have been blamed for localized outbreaks; one house party in Middletown, N.J., has so far been linked to 65 cases, while another in Long Beach, N.J., was linked to 35.

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“We are now back, plus or minus, to where we were a month ago in the daily number of new cases. We can’t go backward. We can’t afford to go backward," Murphy said Wednesday at a press conference.

Videos posted on TikTok and other social media platforms show hundreds of tourists in close proximity in some areas of the Shore, raising questions as to whether tourists could practice social distancing with so many others around.

“I just want to plead one more time to parents and kids,” the governor said Monday at a press conference, according to the Times. “Don’t congregate inside. Please don’t do that. If you’re going to gather, get outside. Wear a face covering. Stay away from each other.”

New Jersey officials have reported more than 182,000 cases of the virus since the beginning of the pandemic and the state has seen nearly 16,000 deaths related to the virus.