By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Daily increases of COVID-19 are now the highest since the pandemic started in Pennsylvania and cases are also increasing in New Jersey. In Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Delaware Counties are above the state average with coronavirus cases.

Meanwhile, nearby Bucks, Chester and Montgomery Counties are below it.

In New Jersey, the surge is still happening, mainly in the northern part of the state.

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are the highest they’ve been in months and increasing steadily. Pennsylvania and New Jersey each have over 1,000 coronavirus patients.

“Hospitalizations are up and patients in critical care are also up. We’ve been here before, those difficult days in March and April,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

Coronavirus death rates are also increasing but nowhere near the levels seen at the height of the pandemic.

“We are in much better shape than we were in the spring. However, you know as the increase continues in the fall, as the weather now is colder and people are more indoors, we could see challenges to our health care system and so that is why we all need to work together,” said Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.

Over the weekend, Pennsylvania had a two-day total of nearly 4,000 new positive cases.

For a month now, the Keystone State has had more than 1,000 daily cases and people between the ages of 25 to 49 have the highest infection rates.

“COVID-19 is increasing in all regions of Pennsylvania and this is following the same pattern that we’re seeing in the rest of the country,” Dr. Levine said.

Surging cases are blamed mostly on private social gatherings but Gov. Phil Murphy noted that Halloween had been relatively quiet in New Jersey.

“I thank the overwhelming majority of you who celebrated safely and especially those of you who took extra precautions to keep trick or treaters and their families safe as well,” Murphy said. “I’m really heartened that so many of you are taking seriously the need and responsibility to help us beat back this second wave.”

With coronavirus cases now widespread in most places, officials say people should take safety precautions if you plan on voting in-person tomorrow.

Most importantly, wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from other people.

You should also bring along hand sanitizer and your own black or blue pen, so you won’t have to borrow one to fill out your ballot.

Some places could have long lines, so you might also want to bring along some water, light snacks and a collapsible chair if you’ll have trouble standing a long time.


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Stephanie Stahl