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19% Positivity Rate as Outbreak Accelerates in N.J.’s Largest City

“You really love your family?” he added. “For Thanksgiving, you should not be with them.”

The governor has repeatedly said that private indoor gatherings are a main source of spread. Halloween parties were linked to five outbreaks across the state, involving a total of 70 people, state health officials said on Wednesday.

Edward Lifshitz, medical director for the Communicable Disease Service at New Jersey’s Department of Health, said that it was often hard to pinpoint a precise source of infection, given the limits of contact tracing and people’s travel habits.

What is clear is that the virus is now spreading rapidly through the community, and that indoor gatherings remain less safe than outdoor events, he said. Elementary and middle schools have not been shown to be a major source of spread, Dr. Lifshitz said; K-12 schools are linked to 146 cases since the start of September.

The seven-day average rate of positive virus tests in New Jersey was 7.95 percent.

“We need to separate as much as possible,” Dr. Lifshitz said. “It’s hard wearing that mask every day. It’s hard not being able to see your friends and family. But none of them are as hard as dealing with the loss of a family member or a friend.”

In Newark, Ms. Moreno, 47, said she had cut the number of staffers at Latinos Beauty Salon to six people, down from 10, after salons in the city were told late last month they could remain open for appointments only.

She said she would prefer a total lockdown for the month of January, to give the state a chance to recover for good. “Business is very slow now,” she said. “Appointment-only is hard for people figuring out when they come off work.”

Residents of three Newark ZIP codes — 07104, 07105 and 07107 — are being asked to remain off the street after 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends, until 5 a.m., unless traveling to or from work, or in the case of an emergency.

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