TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey officials are again pointing to some positive signs in the fight against COVID-19. The key word officials used on Monday is “stability.”
The spread of COVID-19 continues but at a pace that is not likely to overwhelm the hospital system.READ MORE: SEPTA Union President Releases Video Warning Its Members To Prepare For Possible Strike
“This is about saving lives and we will continue to be driven in our effort to save lives,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
Murphy laid out facts, rather than projections, on Monday. As the number of COVID-19 cases approaches 89,000 and the death toll is close to 4,400, hospital counts show the number of seriously sick patients peaking and falling down the curve over the last three weeks.
“These are real numbers, this is a reality in our health care system. And it means that as new cases are identified, and as we take steps to ramp up and expand our testing regime, we will be in a better place to capture and contain COVID-19,” Murphy said.
LOOK: The rates by which the numbers of new #COVID19 cases are doubling have significantly SLOWED.
Just a few weeks ago, in some areas of the state cases were doubling in a matter of days. Now we’re seeing those rates slow to where we can measure them in the numbers of weeks. pic.twitter.com/onEl4gkgzo
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 20, 2020
Murphy says a reopening strategy is in the works but he won’t give a timetable yet.Overnight Shooting In Fairhill Neighborhood Critically Injures 32-Year-Old, Police Say
Meanwhile, health experts say the spread of COVID-19 has yet to peak in South Jersey.
The virus has taken a very sharp turn in the city of Camden, which had 484 cases as of Sunday. On Monday, Mayor Frank Moran says the trend is simply the reality of a dense urban community, where people are accustomed to spending many hours a day outside their homes.
“A lot of our folks don’t have the amenities that other folks have, a lot of folks are living within a few hundred square feet of space and have five, six or seven — it’s not just two people in a home,” Moran said.
Moran says Camden County Police and other agencies have distributed COVID-19 information to residents who often lack internet access and he has spoken to almost 90 faith leaders about encouraging social distance compliance.
Moran doesn’t see the high rate of spread as being about people having a poor attitude.
“Yeah, we are a tough people but I’m not shrugging it off that, because we’re in a city and we’re accustomed to all the worst things at times in life, that it is why people don’t care. No, people do care. We care about our health and we care about getting through this and being part of the solution, not the problem,” Moran said.MORE NEWS: Flames Rip Through Casale Di Maggio Restaurant In Perkasie
Looking ahead to Tuesday, state officials, including Murphy, will be in Atlantic City to tour the new field hospital set to open at the Convention Center. It will be the third field medical station in New Jersey.