New Jersey has announced a record number of new COVID-19 cases as millions prepare for Thanksgiving.

Saturday’s tweet from Gov. Phil Murphy announced 4,679 new positive cases across the country with 34 new deaths. The total number of cumulative cases in New Jersey since the beginning of the pandemic in March was 302,039, with 14,934 deaths.

In northern Jersey, the counties of Bergen and Essex are among the counties with the highest jumps.

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Murphy’s update follows in the footsteps of new Thanksgiving guidelines issued by the state as COVID cases and hospitalizations target “cruelty” weeks ahead, the governor said Thursday.

Civil servants advised residents to hold Thanksgiving celebrations only with members of their households. As of November 17th, indoor gatherings have been limited to 10 people, and from Monday, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 150 people, officials said this week. Exceptions remain for wedding ceremonies, funerals, memorial services, religious activities, political activities and venues.

Travel advice is still in effect in 46 states and US jurisdictions, a directive that requires all persons entering New Jersey from those states to be quarantined for 14 days after leaving the state.

However, those traveling regionally between New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware are excluded from the quarantine requirement.

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After a mild summer in which the cases of COVID-19 and positivity leveled off, New Jersey is quietly catching up with the states in the Midwest and the Sun Belt, which have seen jumps in recent months.

Currently, the rate of positivity among those tested is 10.88%, with nearly 2,200 confirmed patients with COVID in hospitals, Murphy estimates, called “unacceptable” on Wednesday. The positive rate in New Jersey never exceeds 4% in the summer.

According to Murphy, about 45,000 New Jersey residents are tested daily for COVID-19. The number of people seeking hospitalization has recently increased from 100 to 150 per day to 2,505, according to the state.

However, New Jersey remains in the middle of a pack of 50 countries in terms of new cases. In the last seven days, the state has seen 43.3 cases per 100,000 residents, according to the CDC’s website. North Dakota experienced the biggest jump of 162.9 per 100,000.

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The United States surpassed 255,000 deaths from COVID this week, and the growing number of cases has led to more restrictions in the country. New York closed personal learning schools on Wednesday after reaching a 3% positive threshold in seven days.

To date, Murphy has chosen a more surgical approach to managing the spread of the second wave. It has ordered restaurants and bars to close indoor services at 10pm, banned bar venues and canceled interstate sports trips for children and teenagers.

The governor did not say whether he would follow New York’s leadership in closing schools, saying there were 56 coronavirus programs in a school of more than 3,000 school buildings. He has left the decisions to close school district heads, but has the power to order them shut down again.

Tom Nobile covers the Bergen County Supreme Court for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from criminal proceedings to local cases and insightful analysis, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: nobile@northjersey.com

Twitter: @tomnobile

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