New Jersey is experiencing the fastest rate of coronavirus spread it has seen in months. Even though it has a positivity rate that ranks as the nation's 12 lowest, Gov. Phil Murphy has said that NJ's numbers are increasing.
This is especially true in Paterson, NJ, where daily COVID-19 cases have almost tripled this week.
There has been more than 1,000 new cases daily — sometimes close to 2,000 — for more than a week straight in the Garden State. Murphy says he isn't poised to put in new restrictions, as there's no evidence that the indoor dining or gyms have been involved in the uptick.
Data shows that new cases are coming from small family household gatherings where people let their guard down. Murphy is telling his residents to avoid traveling for the holidays.
Paterson became the latest NJ city to take a drastic step to stem the COVID infection tide, imposing a citywide curfew. Local officials have shared photos and videos of crowds partying and gathering inside bars, night clubs and hookah lounges without masks.
This decision comes right after the mayor of Newark imposed new restrictions as COVID cases began to surge. Some neighborhoods in Newark have recorded positivity rates above 25% more than five times the state average.
Dr. Fauci said the U.S. overall would be doing a lot better right now if it doubled down on masks, social distancing and avoiding crowds and congregations.