Governor: Cape May County Rate Doubling Fast

Cape May, NJ – Ever since the coronavirus crisis started, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy goes live every afternoon to give Garden State residents the latest bad news. Bergen County up north, with its skyrocketing COVID-19 cases, gets a lot of the air time.

But Saturday, Governor Murphy sounded the alarm about Cape May County.

County Rate Increasing

On a map of the state, color-coded for each county, Cape May County and Salem County stood out in hot orange. In those two southern counties, the governor said the number of COVID-19 infections were doubling at a faster rate than the rest of the state.

Murphy warned Cape May County residents to take action right away.

“The number of cases are low compared to other counties, but the curve is steep,” he said. “Folks there need to get out ahead of this as fast as they can.”

First COVID-19 Death in County

That same day, Cape May County announced its first COVID-19 death – a 72- year-old Upper Township woman, with underlying health conditions.

The total coronavirus cases in the county as of Saturday hit 69. That’s more than double from just two days earlier.

4-4 graph

Lower Township Cases Soar

Sixteen new cases were reported Saturday. Most of those – 14 – were in Lower Township. That brings the total in Lower to 24 – by far the biggest concentration in the county.

April 4
Avalon 6 Sea Isle City 1
Cape May City 3 Stone Harbor 0
Cape May Point 0 Upper Twp 5
Dennis Twp 4 West Cape May 1
Lower Twp 24 West Wildwood 1
Middle Twp 10 Wildwood 4
North Wildwood 3 Wildwood Crest 4
Ocean City 3 Woodbine 0


Vacation Rental and Hotel Crackdown

Lower Township has clamped down on vacation rentals, threatening police action if necessary.

The governor acknowledged the problem out-of-towers pose to small shore communities.

He said the state is giving municipalities and counties “the ability to prohibit all rentals to transient guests or seasonal tenants for the duration of this emergency.”

That prohibition order will include hotels and motels.

About Jane Kashlak

Jane Kashlak - a journalist, gardener and Cape Island resident - is writing a book.