NJ investigating COVID-19 surges in 2 shore counties

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey epidemiologists are trying to find out why Ocean and Monmouth counties are seeing surges in COVID-19 cases.

State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said over the past week — ending on Thursday — coronavirus case counts were rising the fastest in these two Jersey Shore counties.

“Ocean and Monmouth counties reported 736 new cases,” Persichilli said at the governor’s coronavirus briefing. “On Thursday, the number of cases reported in Ocean County was 112 — the most cases of any county in the state.”

Statewide, New Jersey reported 519 new coronavirus cases on Friday, and 619 positive tests on Thursday.

Persichilli said the state is sending staff to Ocean County to try to find out what is causing the surge.

“We are boosting their resources with four redeployed contact tracers to help investigate this large number of new cases,” she added. “Case investigations are just beginning for these new reports. Public health investigators will interview each individual, ask where they have been and who they have been in contact with.

“As the investigation progresses, we will learn more about their exposures and if there is any common link among the cases.”

Persichilli said one-third of New Jersey’s new COVID-19 cases are among young adults between the ages of 18 and 29.​