The COVID-19 curve is flattening in New Jersey, but the coronavirus crisis is far from over, state officials say.
Governor Phil Murphy made the encouraging announcement at a news conference Monday afternoon in which he cautioned residents from celebrating.
"While we are not anywhere close to being out of the woods as of yet, we are clearly on the right path to get there," Murphy said, reporting a decline in the growth rate of new cases in the state from "24 percent day-over-day on March 30th to roughly 12 percent today."
As of Monday, New Jersey had recorded 41,090 confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases and 1,003 deaths due to complications from COVID-19.
Murphy emphasized that the decline in the rate of new cases is evidence that the state's draconian efforts to social distance are "starting" to pay off about two weeks since going into effect. He added that the state is at least a week away from hitting its peak.
The news conference began after what Governor Phil Murphy called a "very productive call with the White House," in which President Trump agreed to grant New Jersey's request for access to some of the 1,000 hospital beds on the USNS Comfort, docked in New York City.
Since the end of last week, flags around the Garden State have been flown at half mast in acknowledgement of the New Jerseyans who have succumbed to the pandemic disease. Murphy began the news conference by remarking on several of the latest COVID-19 victims.
Among the 86 new COVID-19 deaths reported Monday, longtime Jersey City councilman Michael Yun — the city's first-ever Korean-born city council member — died from complications of the disease at Jersey City Medical Center on Sunday.
Murphy encouraged New Jerseyans to visit COVID19.nj.gov for the latest on the situation with regards to new cases and the state's response.
Photo: Getty Images