Coronavirus in NJ — The First Six Months

From the first case to now, explore what happened as New Jersey faced a lockdown, a staggering death toll and a staggered reopening

On March 4, when state officials announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a New Jersey resident, few in the general public could have imagined the toll the coronavirus would take on residents’ health and the state economy: a near shutdown, record levels of unemployment and rented refrigerator trucks to hold an overflow of the dead.

The state has “flattened the curve,” as Gov. Phil Murphy likes to say, and the number of new cases reported daily continues to be manageable. Still, almost 22 of every 1,000 New Jerseyans has tested positive for COVID-19 and New Jersey currently has the highest death rate of any state, and a higher rate than any of the 20 most-impacted nations in the world: 180 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Below, is a look back at how the virus affected the state, and how New Jersey responded, over the past six months. You can use the arrows to scroll through the presentation or choose specific dates from the timeline.

NJ Spotlight has been tracking the virus since the beginning. Our daily update includes a collection of maps and graphics that show trends in cases and deaths, hospitalizations, unemployment and other key data. All of our reporting on the virus can be found on our Coronavirus in NJ page.