COVID-19 Updates: NJ rate of transmission slowly ticking down from Sunday four-month high

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NEW YORK (WABC) -- New Jersey's daily positivity was 2.57% on August 1 - still one of the lowest in the state, but higher than recent days, Governor Murphy said Wednesday.

The rate of transmission is slowing ticking down from Sunday's four-month high. Murphy said the 1.32 rate is still too high.

"We need to get this number back below 1, and the only tried-and-true way we can do so is by social distancing, wearing a mask, practicing good hand hygiene, and taking responsibility for our action," he said. Crowded indoor house parties continue to be the reason these numbers are high, he added.

In addition, a seven month old who died tested positive for COVID-19 after death, but the health commissioner stressed the cause of death is not known.

The University of Connecticut, which last month officially left the American Athletic Conference ahead of its return to the Big East Conference, announced Wednesday that it is suspending its football program for the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN reports.

UConn, which went 2-10 in its final season in the AAC, is the first FBS program to suspend its football team because of the pandemic. The Huskies were expected to play as an independent this season.

Here are more of today's headlines:

No new deaths in Connecticut for 2nd day
For the second day in a row, there have been no new COVID-19-associated deaths in Connecticut, according to new data released on Wednesday. It also marked the sixth day in the past month that no new deaths were reported.

1 COVID death in NYC
New York state reported four new deaths Tuesday, including one in New York City. This marks the first death in NYC after three straight days of no deaths.

Quarantine checkpoints
New York City is setting up checkpoints to trace travelers from states or locations on the Tri-State travel advisory list with fines up $10,000 fines for quarantine violations. Mayor Bill de Blasio says the COVID-19 traveler registration checkpoints will be located at key entry points into New York City to ensure compliance with New York State quarantine requirements and further the containment of COVID-19.

Travelers who have visited those designated states or territories with high COVID-19 transmission rates are required to complete the New York State Department of Health traveler form and quarantine for a period of 14 days upon entering New York City.

Chicago to begin school year online
New York City is the only major school district in the country that will try to offer in-person classes after Chicago schools opted to reopen online only. Chicago had hoped for a hybrid model approach with part in-school, part remote learning, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is in "a very different place" than it was when the hybrid idea was proposed.

Florida has 50 hospitals with no open ICU beds
Florida has 50 hospitals with no available ICU beds, the state's Agency for Healthcare Administration reported. Two counties have no open ICU beds. Florida also surpassed 500,000 coronavirus cases, joining California as the only states with more than a half-million cases.

Biden won't go to Milwaukee for DNC acceptance speech
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will not travel to Milwaukee to accept his party's White House nomination because of concerns over the coronavirus.

Widow blames Trump, Texas governor for husband's death
A woman whose husband died due to COVID-19 in northeast Texas said his death happened because of Pres. Trump and Gov. Abbott.

In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Stacey Sylos Nagy shared the obituary for her husband David that was printed in her town's newspaper.

She said the blame for her husband David's death falls on the politicians who were more concerned with getting votes than others' lives.

More NY bars lose liquor licenses
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that the state has suspended liquor licenses for 11 more bars after finding violations of COVID-related executive orders.

On Monday, police and the State Liquor Authority conducted 945 compliance checks and found violations at 27 establishments. Businesses found in violation of COVID-19 regulations face fines up to $10,000 per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a bar or restaurant's liquor license.

'Miracle Patient' goes home
After battling COVID-19 for 132 days, Chris Rogan is a miracle patient. He was released from Bellevue Hospital on Tuesday morning.

What was serious, is what Rogan went through. Among other complications, the 29-year-old patient had to be intubated twice for a total of 71 days, coded once, had a tracheotomy and suffered blood clots that resulted in a bedside leg amputation.

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