VIRUS UPDATE: MORE FLATTENING SEEN

red bank fair haven lake avenue trees 042320Delicate tree blossoms added spritzes of color to the greenery along Lake Avenue on the Red Bank-Fair Haven border Thursday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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New Jersey’s ongoing battle to quell the COVID-19 pandemic “has worked incredibly well,” a top health official at Rutgers University said Thursday.

At the same time, Governor Phil Murphy emphasized the need to ramp up testing for the coronavirus so the infection can be further managed.

“There is no one in New Jersey who has died due to a lack of a hospital bed, due to a lack of an ICU bed, due to a lack of a ventilator,” said Dr. Brian Strom, an epidemiologist who serves as chancellor of the school’s Biomedical and health Services.

“In fact I know of no situation where we’ve had to put two people on a ventilator, as happened in New York,” Strom said at Murphy’s daily briefing on the crisis.

His comments came as the Murphy administration reported 307 more deaths alongside other indications that the spread of the disease is no longer accelerating at rates seen as recently as last week.

The state health department’s COVID-19 online database reported 5,368 New Jersey residents have now died since the first death on March 10. The largest one-day increase, of 379, was reported Tuesday.

Included in the latest report were 9 more Monmouth County resident deaths, which bringing the county’s total to 260.

Murphy said the rate at which positive tests for COVID-19 were doubling continued to slow. In Monmouth and Hunterdon counties, the doubling period was down to 30 days each; at the worst, in late March and early days of April, cases were doubling every four or five days.

“We see a slowing of the rate of spread,” Murphy said. “This is a meaningful slowing. You’re starting to see lengthening, and that’s because what you all are doing out there,” he said, pointing into a videocamera.

Here are the latest statewide COVID-19 figures:

Deaths in the monthlong pandemic: 5,368, up 307 from Wednesday’s update

Positive tests: 99,989, up 4,247

Patients in hospitals: 7,24o, up 30

Patients in intensive/critical care: 1,990, up 7

Patients on ventilators: 1,462, down 108

Patients discharged in preceding 24 hours: 752,, up 7

Strom said the Murphy team’s preparation for the case surge “is working.”

“The curve has flattened, [and is] now coming to a plateau,” he said.

The state reported Monmouth County had amassed 5,272 COVID-19 positive cases as of Thursday, up 180 from Wednesday. Here’s by-town breakdown of cases:

  • Aberdeen: 169
  • Allenhurst: 2
  • Allentown: 4
  • Asbury Park: 103
  • Atlantic Highlands: 20
  • Avon-by-the-Sea: 9
  • Belmar: 13
  • Bradley Beach: 25
  • Brielle: 21
  • Colts Neck: 56
  • Deal: 23
  • Eatontown: 163
  • Englishtown: 26
  • Fair Haven: 20, unchanged from Wednesday
  • Farmingdale: 10
  • Freehold Borough: 229
  • Freehold Township: 460
  • Hazlet: 191
  • Highlands: 20
  • Holmdel: 167
  • Howell: 449
  • Interlaken: 1
  • Keansburg: 97
  • Keyport: 60
  • Lake Como: 14
  • Little Silver: 30, up 2
  • Loch Arbour: 1
  • Long Branch: 315
  • Manalapan: 380
  • Manasquan: 22
  • Marlboro: 344
  • Matawan: 113
  • Middletown: 389
  • Millstone: 63
  • Monmouth Beach: 18
  • Neptune City: 30
  • Neptune Township: 282
  • Ocean: 210
  • Oceanport: 44
  • Red Bank: 116, up 13
  • Roosevelt: 3
  • Rumson: 30
  • Sea Bright: 9
  • Sea Girt: 9
  • Shrewsbury Borough: 34
  • Shrewsbury Township: 7
  • Spring Lake: 12
  • Spring Lake Heights: 16
  • Tinton Falls: 126
  • Union Beach: 34
  • Upper Freehold: 35
  • Wall: 189
  • West Long Branch: 55
  • Unknown: 4

According to state data, the county’s longterm care facilities have reported 182 deaths and 1,127 current COVID-19 cases.