Bergen County has surpassed Hudson County for the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state, as of June 10.
As of May 15, Hudson County had surpassed 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.
Bergen County currently has 18,667 positive cases, followed by Hudson County with 18,647 and Essex County with 18,206, as of June 10, according to the NJ Department of Health.
However, the two counties are separated by only 20 cases, which could fluctuate and change the standings over the course of the week.
Jersey City has reported the highest number of cases in the county, with 6,441, followed by Union City with 3,456 cases, North Bergen with 2,540 cases, and West New York with 2,078 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 hot spot 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.
Municipalities cope with COVID-19
In the middle tier of COVID-19 cases is Secaucus with 610, followed by Bayonne with 567, and Hoboken with 563.
Secaucus has also seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths, surpassing larger cities in the county.
In an online COVID-19 update on June 6, Secaucus announced that 44 residents had died from COVID-19. This is a large jump from the 25 residents iwho were previously reported to have died.
“We have been informed by our Health Officer the increase in the number of deaths is due to a delay in reporting,” according to Secaucus.
All but three of the deaths occurred in April, during the height of the pandemic, the town said.
Meanwhile, Guttenberg has 217 cases and Weehawken has only 12 active cases remaining.
The number of positive cases are lab confirmed, as are the number of deaths.
Essex County currently has the highest death toll, with 1,723, compared to 1,635 in Bergen County and 1,242 in Hudson County.
As of June 7, Jersey City tallied the highest death toll in the county at 449, followed by North Bergen at 162, and Union City at 151.
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.
Bergen County had 63 facilities with outbreaks, with more than 872 deaths.
Hudson County has 15 long-term care facilities dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19, according to state data. Among the long-term facilities, there have been 991 cases, with an additional 527 cases of sick staff members. There have been 223 deaths and seven staff deaths.
Approximately 66 of North Bergen deaths, and possibly more, were residents of long-term care facilities or nursing homes, including Hudson View, Hudson Hills, and the Harborage.
More than half of those who died in Secaucus are reported to have lived in the town’s nursing home on County Avenue. “All of those who passed away were previously included in our reported numbers of positive cases,” according to the town.
Jersey City, North Bergen, and Union City have begun testing their nursing homes. North Bergen has also been conducting testing on residents of senior housing authority buildings.
Despite having the second highest number of cases and third highest death toll, most local municipalities have noted an overall slowdown in cases as the curve has flattened.
With New Jersey entering Phase 2 of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.