NJTV News: May 18, 2020

Monday provided the first in-depth look at Gov. Phil Murphy’s multi-stage coronavirus reopening plan for the state. It begins with allowing more outdoor recreation to resume. Beginning Friday at 6 a.m., places like batting cages, tennis clubs, golf and other ranges can once again welcome visitors. Murphy says data from the past two weeks is signaling we can safely move through stages to a new normal.

The state is reporting another 83 deaths as the state’s total reaches 10,435 fatalities caused by COVID-19. Overnight, health officials recorded 1,735 new confirmed tests— the 12th consecutive day that number has been lower than 2,000. The statewide total is now at 148,039 cases. Monday’s numbers come with a caveat due to a lag in weekend reporting.

The daily spot positivity rate is also continuing to slow down to 12% for tests taken on May 14. Just last week that rate hovered around 22%. Health experts have been using this metric as a real-time indicator on the spread, but the state is no longer using results from serology antibody tests in that measurement. According to Murphy, it doesn’t give an accurate “state of play.”