0.98 Is the New Normal for New Jersey

By The Equinox Staff 

New Jersey’s key reported benchmark for measuring the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus dipped to 0.98 on Monday, Aug. 10.  Since July 27, the state’s calculation and report of this metric has been as high as 1.48 last week.

“We are thankfully below 1,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in his daily press conference. “We’re only a little bit, by a hair, but we’re beginning to slow the spread.”

Gov. Murphy rolled out his “knuckleheads” invective when describing masses of young people in line at shore bars over the weekend, who were mask-less and not observing social distancing.

When the rate of spread crossed the 1.0 threshold last month, Murphy put the brakes on reopening the state. Consequences extend to Monday’s FDU President’s Update announcing that classes would be primarily online, slowing the full reopening of both New Jersey FDU campuses.

The rate of transmission is the tool epidemiologists use to calculate and demonstrate how a disease is spreading in a population. New Jersey uses a 7-day rolling average. At 1.0, theoretically, one person is spreading it to one other person. Below 1.0, it is spreading, but slowly. Above 1.0, it is expanding the spread.

In the two weeks since Rt (rate of transmission) crossed 1.0, it has inched as high as 1.48 last week before turning down Monday. 

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Graphic via @NJGov