The latest coronavirus models for New Jersey do not predict that the state will experience a spike in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations or deaths as it advances to Stage 2 of its reopening, NorthJersey.com and USA Today report.
Data suggesting the Garden State is still on the right track comes as some two dozen other U.S. states report alarming spikes in coronavirus cases as they advance their respective reopening plans.
A 20-day prediction based on prior coronavirus data shows new cases and hospitalizations continuing to decrease daily through July 7.
New Jersey's Stage 2 plan allows organized sports to resume as well as larger outdoor gatherings. Public swimming pools may also reopen, along with dining at restaurants, non-essential retail and daycare.
The state has pressed on with reopening after protesters gathered en masse for weeks to demonstrate against racial bias and police brutality. The demonstrations have not so far resulted in a marked increase in coronavirus cases. Protesters have been urged to get tested for the virus after attending rallies.
Researchers in New Jersey run multiple scenarios each day to predict short- and long-term outcomes related to the virus.
The models have shown that the likelihood of a second wave of the virus in the state depends heavily on whether social distancing continues through July 31.
If people continue observing preventative measures, the number of people going to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms could be significantly reduced.
The number of known coronavirus-infected people (or 'active cases') in New Jersey was 4,720, as of June 19. The latest model predicts that number will be around 2,174 by July 7.
But the coronavirus's infectious potential remains and the threat of a super-spreader (an asymptomatic person who transmits the virus to several others) is still a concern.
As coronavirus cases increase around the nation, officials in the northeast continue to mull imposing a mandatory quarantine for travelers coming from states like Florida, Texas and Arizona.
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