Cases in New Jersey, which recently plunged to their lowest levels since the pandemic began, are rising again.
Just a week ago, New Jersey recorded its lowest seven-day average of new daily cases — 224 — since the numbers peaked in the state in early April, according to a database maintained by The New York Times. But cases have been rising since then, and the state has averaged 416 cases per day over the past week.
The increase, which came after the state moved to ease a number of restrictions, has worried elected leaders and public health officials, who say that young people who are enjoying summer parties are not taking enough precautions.
A party that dozens of Long Beach Island lifeguards attended has been linked to 35 cases of the virus, according to the state’s health commissioner. A house party in Middletown, N.J., has been blamed for 65 new cases; 52 of the people infected were between the ages of 15 and 19, Gov. Philip D. Murphy said. Judith M. Persichilli, the state health commissioner, said Wednesday that 15 Rutgers football players had tested positive.
And a house party in Jackson, N.J., about 65 miles south of Manhattan, drew more than 700 people on Sunday night, leading the police to issue tickets to its organizers. More than 100 cars were parked outside, and it took the police more than five hours to clear the scene.
Officials with the governor’s office noted that despite the uptick, New Jersey continues to be among the six states with the fewest new daily infections per 100,000 residents. Some of the increase in the past week also can be linked to a lag in testing results, which they said are sometimes delivered in large bulk batches, skewing the daily case counts.
Perry N. Halkitis, an epidemiologist and dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, agreed the delay in testing results muddies the daily data report. But he said the seven-day trend is alarming.