Dr. Sarah Allred says social distancing is having an effect and appears to be slowly flattening the curve. Allred and her team just launched a new daily tracker that focuses on COVID 19 deaths by county in the state.
“So the way that we are plotting it, allows you to say “oh, let’s see how things in Bergen County compare to things in Ocean County “at this sort of same point in this progression of the disease in that county,” said Allred, the faculty director at the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs, Rutgers University-Camden.
Allred says unfortunately the death rate is more of a reliable indicator of the spread of the disease in a region compared to the number of positive cases.
“There is so much variability with who is getting tested within our state, within the county and within the world. So the number of positive cases, doesn’t necessarily tell accurately how many people have the disease,” she said.
Data from the Department of Health shows the death rate is slowing, thanks in large part to New Jerseyans staying at home.
“We have lines on there that show you how often the death rates are doubling. If you look at what has been happening in the last few days, it looks like the deaths have been doubling every five days ,and that doesn’t sound great, but it’s better than what was happening a week ago which was deaths was doubling between every two and three days. So what this means is that the rate of deaths doubling is slowing down. That’s good, but they are still doubling relatively frequently. Our rate of deaths growing are less than the national average,” she said.
While Allred says New Jersey is far from out of the woods, she does stress that staying at home has played a major part in flattening the curve.