Editor’s note: NJ Spotlight News celebrates the second anniversary of the arrival of COVID-19 in New Jersey, focusing on how the disease has changed our lives and what life looks like now. Here we look at data on COVID-19-related deaths in New Jersey – and how our grim statistics compare to data from other states. You will find all our stories related to the pandemic here.
At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a debate about how deadly the coronavirus was. Statements by former President Donald Trump, who compared the virus to the flu, have led many to downplay its severity.
Two years later, the United States is rapidly approaching 1 million deaths due to COVID-19, a disease caused by a coronavirus. About 33,000 of those deaths were in New Jersey.
COVID-19 killed far more people than seasonal flu. During the five-week period in the beginning, it killed more New Jersey residents every day than all the other causes combined. On April 30, 2020, there were 458 COVID-19-related deaths in the state, more than double the number of deaths for all other reasons on average per day. New Jersey was badly affected at the start of the pandemic, second only to New York when there were no vaccines and proven treatments because the disease was so new.
More than 10,000 people died in New Jersey 10 weeks after the first case was diagnosed here on March 4, 2020.
The virus is easily spread through the air and is more deadly to the elderly. Within months, half of the deaths were among residents and employees of government long-term care facilities. To date, almost 9,300 residents and workers of nursing homes and other settlements have died from COVID-19, which is almost one in three deaths.
Gov. Phil Murphy has taken significant steps to stop the death. He started closing businesses 12 days after the first case and imposed an order to stay home for almost 12 weeks. He introduced a mandate for indoor masks, which remains in force under certain conditions, and the state has aggressively promoted vaccination against the disease. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Jersey ranks fourth in the number of deaths per 100,000 population in the country.