CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — There is a resurgence of COVID-19 in the tri-state area. New Jersey now has the highest rate of new cases in the United States, but Gov. Phil Murphy says there’s impressive progress with vaccinations and schools should be back to normal in September.
Murphy said he would hold off on lifting more restrictions until it’s clear case counts are moving in the right direction.READ MORE: Some Philadelphia Residents Facing Fines For Piled Up Curbside Trash As Pickups Delayed
A steady stream of people got shots on a rainy day at the Camden County mega-site. There have been 3.6 million residents vaccinated across the state. But New Jersey is among 19 states with increased COVID-19 cases — that includes Pennsylvania and Delaware. New Jersey has the third-highest positivity rate nationwide, and hospitalizations have topped 2,000 for the first time in a month.
“Every new case we record is directly leading to at least one other case,” Murphy said.
Officials blame variants and virus fatigue. People aren’t being as careful with masks and distancing, and while vaccinations are increasing, they haven’t been given to enough people to stop the uptick in COVID cases.
“I continue to be worried about the latest data,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky of the CDC said.
In New Jersey, the spike started in the north, but it’s spreading south.READ MORE: Sixers Force Game 7 With Gritty Road Win Over Hawks
“We are concerned. Last week, the number of average cases rose by 30 in Camden County, so we are starting to see a bit of an uptick,” Camden County Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said.
Also from Camden County, they’re seeing up to 70 no-shows per day because people get vaccinated elsewhere and don’t cancel other appointments.
“We’re doing our best to call people on our waiting list to get them moved up,” Cappelli Jr. said, “but if these numbers continue to grow, then we do run the risk of having to waste vaccine.”
For schools, when the new year starts in September, the governor says remote learning goes away — unless there’s a resurgence. Students should be back in class.
“I want to be unequivocal about this. We are expecting, Monday through Friday in person, every school every district,” Murphy said.MORE NEWS: Police Searching For Dirt Bike-Riding Suspect In West Philadelphia Deadly Shooting
New Jersey officials also announced on Wednesday new guidelines for schools, which basically follows the CDC in allowing 3 feet of physical distancing as long as other precautions are followed.