TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey confirmed 3,748 new cases of positive COVID-19 infections in 24 hours on Thursday, bringing the Garden State’s total to 51,027 confirmed coronavirus cases.

Gov. Phil Murphy also said there have been 198 new deaths linked to COVID-19 illness, bringing the toll up to 1,700 people.

Other numbers updated Thursday included:

  • 7,363 residents are hospitalized.
  • 1,823 are in ICUs.
  • 1,551 are on ventilators.
  • 1,471 released from hospitals and returned home.

The tracking of patients released from the hospital is a new metric the governor’s panel had not shared before.

“I have to tell you it does not get any easier on us or any of you to speak these numbers or to hear them,” said Murphy. “These aren’t numbers by the way these are people, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, neighbors, co-workers, friends and even if they are complete strangers. They are fellow New Jerseyans.

Among the dead was Kevin Leiva, a 24-year-old Patterson native who worked as an EMT in North Bergen and at Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital. He and his wife lived in Pompton Lakes, N.J.

“Let us never, ever let this get abstract,” he said. “These are real live human beings, members of our family, blessed souls who we have lost.”

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli shared a relative racial breakdown of the 1,700 deaths:

  • 61% white
  • 22% black or African-American
  • 6% Asian
  • 1% other
  • 11% still under investigation

To help slow the rate of infections, Persichilli said $5 million in federal funds would go to contact tracing, providing guidance to long term care facilities, community testing sites, supporting individuals who need a safe place to quarantine. Allocations will be based on the population size of the communities they serve.

In terms of county-by-county numbers, Bergen and Essex counties remain the top hot spots, but other counties are catching up.

  • Bergen County: 8,343 confirmed cases (345 deaths)
  • Essex County: 6,069 confirmed cases (312 deaths)
  • Hudson County: 5,879 confirmed cases (132 deaths)
  • Union County: 5,203 confirmed cases (145 deaths)
  • Passaic County: 4,690 confirmed cases (82 deaths)
  • Middlesex County: 4,628 confirmed cases (152 deaths)
  • Monmouth County: 3,248 confirmed cases (98 deaths)
  • Ocean County: 3,093 confirmed cases (119 deaths)
  • Morris County: 2,645 confirmed cases (117 deaths)
  • Somerset County: 1,335 confirmed cases (59 deaths)
  • Mercer County: 1,161 confirmed cases (36 deaths)
  • Camden County: 990 confirmed cases (23 deaths)
  • Burlington County: 883 confirmed cases (21 deaths)
  • Gloucester County: 413 confirmed cases (8 deaths)
  • Sussex County: 392 confirmed cases (21 deaths)
  • Warren County: 319 confirmed cases (1 deaths)
  • Hunterdon County: 286 confirmed cases (4 deaths)
  • Atlantic County: 191 confirmed cases (4 deaths)
  • Cumberland County: 111 confirmed cases (3 deaths)
  • Cape May County: 109 confirmed cases (3 deaths)
  • Salem County: 43 confirmed cases (3 deaths)

“The 9 million of us can play are playing a huge role in getting ourselves out of this faster with fewer infections, fewer hospitalizations and please got fewer fatalities,” said Murphy. “Every day we get stronger, every day we are more prepared to see ourselves through this.”

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