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Covid-19 State News

N.J. reports 4,805 new COVID-19 cases, 25 more deaths as state prepares for first vaccinations

A day before the state is set to administer its first coronavirus vaccinations, New Jersey on Monday reported another 4,805 COVID-19 cases and 25 more deaths, while hospitalizations increased to the highest number of patients since mid-May.

Gov. Phil Murphy continued to warn that even as vaccine shots begin, the Garden State is facing several challenging weeks as it continues to face “stiff headwinds” from the second wave of the pandemic.

“Tomorrow is a big day, but we cannot claim any victory yet,” Murphy said during his latest coronavirus briefing in Trenton. “Tomorrow is the just the establishment of our beachhead. It’s going to take several more months of fighting.”

New Jersey’s seven-day average for daily positive tests increased to 4,985, up 1% from a week ago and 56% from a month ago as the state continues to cope with the second wave of the pandemic.
The average has hovered around 5,000 in recent days, the highest it’s been during the nine-month outbreak — though tests during the first wave in the spring were scarce and likely undercounted the number of the infections.
The state’s coronavirus death toll for the first 14 days of December — 713 confirmed fatalities — is already higher than the entire month of November (615) and the combined totals for October (231), September (178), and August (238).
There were 3,635 people with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Sunday night. That’s much lower than the more than 8,000 patients at the peak of the first wave in April but more than triple the number at the beginning of November and the most since May 14.
Of those, 704 patients are in intensive care — the first time that number has been above 700 since May 28 — with 491 on ventilators.
The statewide rate of transmission decreased to 1.13, an indication the current amount of daily new cases has stabilized. Any number over 1 indicates the outbreak is expanding. The rate increased for six consecutive days before stagnating Sunday at 1.15.

The statewide positivity rate for tests administered Thursday, the most recent day available, was 10.95%, based on 38,861 results received so far. The rate has been above 10% for all but one day since Nov. 25.

New Jersey has now reported 405,448 total positive cases out of 6.6 million tests administered since the outbreak started March 4, though those totals do not include rapid tests.
The state of 9 million residents has reported 17,775 deaths from complications related to the virus in that time — 15,907 confirmed and 1,868 considered probable fatalities.
Monday’s update comes states begin administering Pfizer coronavirus vaccine shots after federal regulators gave emergency approval Friday.
The first doses in New Jersey will be administered Tuesday morning to front-line healthcare workers at University Hospital in Newark. Other health systems and hospitals across the state will begin vaccinating front-line healthcare workers as the morning goes on, Murphy said.

The state’s first 76,000 doses will go to healthcare workers and residents of longterm care facilities, officials said. A broader rollout is expected in April or May.

Murphy said state officials are “confident in the safety and efficacy” of the Pfizer vaccine and the hope is as more shipments arrive, the state’s vaccination program “will become much more robust over the coming weeks.”
The governor also said the hope is that as one group receives their second dose of the vaccines, another group will receive their first.
”It is a momentous day,” he said. “It’s a day we have all been waiting for. It’s a day of hope and optimism for getting to the other side. But it is not the end.”
Murphy warned that “these numbers will not magically return to zero because we’re about to provide our first vaccinations.”
He said the state needs at least 70% of its adult population — about 4.7 million residents — to be vaccinated to reach “herd immunity.”
New Jersey officials last week revealed two pairs of moderate-case and worst-case scenarios for the second wave. The moderate forecasts call for New Jersey to hit between 6,300 and 9,100 daily cases and between 5,700 and 7,100 patients hospitalized over the next two months.

Murphy has said all options remain on the table to fight the second wave, though he said Friday he does not plan for New Jersey to close indoor dining, which is currently limited to 25% capacity and a requirement that indoor service end at 10 p.m. each day. The state also allows counties and municipalities the ability to order bars and restaurants to close as early as 8 p.m. daily.

The governor also reiterated Monday that he hopes the state can avoid another shutdown and succeed with “surgical” restrictions instead, even as New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio told city residents to prep for the possibility of another shutdown there.
Still, Murphy said he doesn’t expect to lift the state’s curfew on indoor bars and restaurants in time for New Year’s Eve.
“You gotta stay small for the holidays,” he said. “We get through the next six weeks, I believe the worst will be behind us.”
Meanwhile, 78% of people who were contacted by New Jersey’s more than 3,300 tracers last week wouldn’t work with them, Murphy said. That’s up from 74% of people who refused the prior week.
COUNTY-BY-COUNTY NUMBERS (sorted by most new cases)
  • Middlesex County: 37,291 positive tests (531 new), 1,340 confirmed deaths (207 probable)
  • Monmouth County: 25,681 positive tests (394 new), 846 confirmed deaths (94 probable)
  • Bergen County: 40,879 positive tests (385 new), 1,951 confirmed deaths (254 probable)
  • Essex County: 41,471 positive tests (380 new), 2,064 confirmed deaths (234 probable)
  • Camden County: 24,003 positive tests (366 new), 678 confirmed deaths (58 probable)
  • Passaic County: 35,737 positive tests (361 new), 1,230 confirmed deaths (144 probable)
  • Ocean County: 26,505 positive tests (355 new), 1,143 confirmed deaths (70 probable)
  • Hudson County: 37,521 positive tests (344 new), 1,474 confirmed deaths (159 probable)
  • Burlington County: 17,179 positive tests (303 new), 522 confirmed deaths (45 probable)
  • Union County: 32,669 positive tests (287 new), 1,309 confirmed deaths (171 probable)
  • Morris County: 16,934 positive tests (242 new), 743 confirmed deaths (157 probable)
  • Mercer County: 16,312 positive tests (181 new), 648 confirmed deaths (37 probable)
  • Gloucester County: 11,597 positive tests (125 new), 314 confirmed deaths (8 probable)
  • Somerset County: 10,798 positive tests (124 new), 546 confirmed deaths (82 probable)
  • Atlantic County: 9,758 positive tests (109 new), 301 confirmed deaths (16 probable)
  • Warren County: 3,146 positive tests (65 new), 163 confirmed deaths (13 probable)
  • Cumberland County: 6,277 positive tests (61 new), 185 confirmed deaths (8 probable)
  • Sussex County: 3,403 positive tests (52 new), 164 confirmed deaths (39 probable)
  • Hunterdon County: 3,077 positive tests (35 new), 79 confirmed deaths (54 probable)
  • Cape May County: 1,995 positive tests (24 new), 110 confirmed deaths (13 probable)
  • Salem County: 2,187 positive tests (24 new), 97 confirmed deaths (5 probable)

HOSPITALIZATIONS

The 3,635 patients with confirmed (3,425) or suspected (210) COVID-19 cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Sunday is 44 more than the previous night.
That includes 704 in critical or intensive care (13 more than the previous night), with 491 on ventilators (43 more).
Another 350 people sought treatment in hospitals on Sunday, while 300 coronavirus patients were discharged from hospitals Sunday, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.
SCHOOL CASES
Although hundreds of school districts have announced coronavirus cases and dozens of New Jersey schools have temporarily switched to all remote classes since the start of the school year, state health officials have said only 88 schools have had confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks.
There have now been 388 total cases of in-school transmission in those 88 schools since the start of the school year.
Those numbers do not include students or staff believed to have been infected outside school, or cases that can’t be confirmed as in-school outbreaks.
Though the numbers keep rising every week, Murphy has said the school outbreak statistics remain below what state officials were expecting when schools reopened for in-person classes. The extensive rules for schools, which include social distancing guidelines for classrooms and strict mask requirements, have made schools among the safest places in the state, he said.

AGE BREAKDOWN

Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (31.6%), followed by those 50-64 (24%), 18-29 (19%), 65-79 (11.3%), 80 and older (6.1%), 5-17 (6.5%), and 0-4 (1.3%).
On average, the virus has been more deadly for older residents, especially those with pre-existing conditions. Nearly half the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents 80 and older (47.69%), followed by those 65-79 (31.78%), 50-64 (15.84%), 30-49 (4.31%), 18-29 (0.37%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).
At least 7,389 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. That number has been rising again at a steeper rate in recent weeks.
GLOBAL NUMBERS
As of early Monday afternoon, there have been 72.4 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.6 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases, with 16.3 million, and the most deaths, at more than 299,200.

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