Sussex County has reported 146 new cases of coronavirus in the past two weeks, according to reports from the county health department.
The health department reported 146 new cases from Sept. 18 through Oct. 2. The rate of new cases more than doubled from the previous two-week period, Sept. 3 through 17, which saw 61 new cases. The 14-day trend in Sussex County is 4.8 cases per 100,000 people.
The death rate has remained flat, with one Sussex County resident dying from COVID-19 in the last four weeks.
It is unclear whether cases are rising because people are spending more time indoors, now that the weather has turned cooler and students have returned to campus for the first time since March. Indoor dining resumed at 25 percent capacity on Sept. 4.
Most public schools in Sussex County adopted a hybrid schedule of virtual and in-person instruction that started on Sept. 8. Some schools, like Sparta and Newton, delayed their plans for in-person instruction because of insufficient staffing or delivery delays of protective equipment and supplies. Some school districts, including High Point and Sparta, have seen cases among students and faculty in their districts since the school year began.
New Jersey has just issued its new COVID Alert NJ mobile app, which anonymously alerts users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus. The app also provides updates on New Jersey reopenings, key COVID-19 metrics, and a symptom tracking tool.
Cases rise in Orange and Pike counties
Coronavirus cases are also going up in neighboring counties. Orange County, N.Y., is experiencing a severe outbreak: 18 percent of those tested last week in Orange County were reported to be positive. It is by far the most serious current outbreak in one of the few states that has managed to get the virus well under control. Statewide, New York has a positivity rate of 1.3 percent, or 1.1 without the hotspots included. The 14-day trend is 13 cases per 100,000 people.
Pike County, Pa., has also seen an upward trend in the past two weeks, with 28 new cases of coronavirus. Of these cases, 17 were reported in the past week, and 10 in the three-day period from Wednesday through Friday. The 14-day trend is 4.8 cases per 100,000 people, the same as for Sussex County.