On May 15, Hudson County overtook Bergen County for the most cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey. Both counties have been considered epicenters for the virus in the state, with Bergen enduring the highest numbers of cases consistently throughout the pandemic.
Hudson County currently has 17,477 positive cases of COVID-19, followed by Bergen County with 17,361 and Essex County with 16,140. The number of positive cases are lab confirmed, as are the number of deaths.
Essex County currently has the highest death toll, with 1,528 residents who have died compared to 1,455 in Bergen County and 1,057 in Hudson County.
Hudson County also reported the second highest number of new cases by county, with 122 new confirmed positive cases on May 17. Passaic County has the highest number of new cases cases at 170, with Union County reporting the third highest number of new cases at 170.
Jersey City has reported the highest number of cases in the county thus far, with 6,663 residents, followed by Union City with 3,249 cases, and North Bergen with 2,410 cases.
Jersey City, West New York, and North Bergen dealt with a high influx of cases early in the pandemic. West New York confirmed its first case on March 8 and lost its first resident on March 29.
By early April, Gov. Murphy had declared West New York and North Bergen COVID-19 hot spots. Soon after, Union City became a hotspot and saw an increase of cases after the opening of the North Hudson testing facility in the city.
Often, the spike in cases can be attributed to sick residents who finally got access to testing after more testing kits became available.
Long-term care facilities at the epicenter
Those most affected by the virus are the elderly, many of whom live in long-term care facilities and nursing homes throughout the county.
There are 15 long-term care facilities dealing with outbreaks from COVID-19, according to state data. Among the long-term facilities, there have been 1,058 total cases and 168 deaths.
On the state level, Bergen County had 63 facilities with outbreaks. In the county, there have been 4,171 total cases at these long-term care facilities and more than 872 deaths.
As of May 17, Jersey City tallied the highest death toll in the county at 385 residents who have died, followed by North Bergen at 162 deaths, and Union City at 144.
Nursing homes across Hudson County have been hit hard.
In North Bergen, approximately 66 of those deaths, and possibly more, were residents of long-term care facilities or nursing homes, including Hudson View, Hudson Hills, and the Harborage.
Despite having the highest number of cases and third highest death toll, most local municipalities have noted a slowdown in cases as the curve begins to flatten.
As Hudson County begins to open parks, resume nonessential retail through curbside pickup, and resume nonessential construction, the data will show if that was the right decision.
For more on pandemic statistics, visit https://covid19.nj.gov
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.