new jersey social distancing
US Health Weather Map by Kinsa Insights

New Jersey’s stay-at-home order and efforts to adhere to social distancing are making a difference, Governor Murphy said in his daily news conference on Thursday. While the peak of COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Jersey still lies ahead, Murphy said progress is being made. 

New Jersey’s counties were seeing COVID-19 cases double at a much quicker rate in previous days. Eight of the state’s 21 counties are now seeing cases double every five to seven days. “This is real progress,” the governor said during his news conference. “It’s beginning to slow the rate.”

One of the first signs of COVID-19 is a fever, followed by other symptoms which may include body aches, dry cough, trouble breathing and a loss of sense of taste. While the number of cases rise as more people get tested, another encouraging sign is that fevers seem to be dropping.

Kinsa Inc., a health technology company that makes Internet-connected thermometers, has been tracking the number of fevers across the country via an interactive map. The company had been using data from people who use its thermometer to track the spread of influenza but adapted its software to track atypical fevers associated with the surge of COVID-19 cases.

The good news: According to the map, influenza like illnesses are trending down in all 21 of New Jersey’s counties. “Data from more than 1 million Kinsa thermometers tells the same story across the country: three to seven days after a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order is enacted, fevers in that community start to drop,” Inder Sing, the founder & CEO of Kinsa, said in an April 2 post.

While this is promising news, New Jersey is still expected to see a peak in COVID-19 cases in the coming days. Because those infected with COVID-19 can remain asymptomatic for up to 14 days before symptoms occur, peak cases and hospitalizations still lie ahead. A projected infection chart revealed by Murphy on Monday estimates that the peak of cases in New Jersey will hit between April 19 and May 11.

That’s why the state shutdown and social distancing efforts continue to be critically important. In addition to new efforts to make supermarkets safer by further protecting employees and shoppers, Murphy has also put forth more aggressive efforts to enforce social distancing.

Effective 8 pm on Friday, all non-essential construction throughout the state must stop.  Exceptions include projects at hospitals and schools, in the transportation and public utility sector, the building of affordable housing and housing sites that can adhere to strict limits on the number of workers allowed on a site.

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