The COVID-19 crisis in New Jersey continues to slightly improve every day. Over the past week, hospitalizations are down, hospital admissions have dropped and the number of ventilators being used in critical care units of hospitals is also decreasing, now at 79%, the lowest it’s been in a month.

Nevertheless, the federal field hospitals in the Meadowlands, Edison and Atlantic City are still being worked on, hospital expansion efforts at other facilities continue, including major construction projects at East Orange General Hospital and New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus, and 500 additional ventilators have just been purchased.

Gov. Phil Murphy said there’s a very good reason why these efforts are continuing.

He said even after we start to see a significant drop in the number of COVID-19 test results, the actions being taken will put us “in position to be better prepared for potential spikes as we look to re-open, and for spikes that many predict may continue through fall or into winter.”

Murphy said hopefully we won’t need all of the hospital capacity that’s being added or the additional ventilators in the next month or two.

“What if this thing comes back? The experts will tell you that this is the sort of virus where the likelihood of it coming back is pretty high," he said Wednesday.

He said if you look at the H1N1 experience and what happened with the Spanish flu a hundred years ago, “we may need the capacities that we are preparing for — whether it’s beds, ventilators, surging and health care workers — we may need them even if we do everything right. We may need this down the road.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com