16 NJ School Outbreaks as State Sees Largest Daily COVID-19 Case Total Since May

There have now been 16 confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks at New Jersey schools traced to in-school transmission of the virus, according to Gov. Phil Murphy, who spoke today at his now bi-weekly COVID-19 press briefing. He added that there are 58 total cases associated with these reported outbreaks.

According to the Department of Health, outbreaks associated with in-school transmission are defined as two or more laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff with onsets within a 14 day period, but with no prior connections, such as those that may be found through contact tracing.

After 11 reported school outbreaks last week, Murphy eluded to the fact that the increase to 16 this week wasn’t cause for alarm.

“In terms of having a system with more than 3,000 buildings, to have 16 of them [with reported outbreaks] in early October is well within any reasonable expectation of where we would be,” he said.

This comes on a day that Murphy reported an additional 1,301 new COVID-19 cases, which is the highest figure of new cases since May 29 (1,324).

“That’s a sobering number,” Murphy said. “Of these totals, 285 are from Ocean County and 128 are from Monmouth County. These two counties remain our greatest focus, but far from our only focus.

Murphy added that Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Passaic and Union counties all reported more than 80 additional cases each.

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