New Jersey on Monday reported 2,745 new cases of the coronavirus and another 21 deaths as the number of people hospitalized increased slightly for the second day in a row after dropping for three consecutive days.
There were 3,684 people throughout the state’s 71 hospitals Sunday night, marking another increase after the number dipped to 3,464 on Christmas Day. Hospitalizations hit a more than seven-month high on Dec. 22 with 3,873 people seeking treatment.
Monday marked the second day in a row new positive tests were fewer than 3,000.
“Some of the hospital numbers have moderated a bit over the past several days, however we are not yet ready to call it a trend,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during his regular COVID-19 briefing in Trenton.
“We also don’t know where the numbers may go as we are just now coming out of Christmas and then we have New Year’s Eve … standing on-deck,” he said “Hopefully, more and more of you are taking to heart the need for doing things differently and much smaller this year, and we won’t see a post-holiday spike.”
The statewide rate of transmission of the virus, meanwhile, ticked up slightly to 0.96 after staying at 0.95 for two consecutive days. Prior to Saturday, the rate dropped for 12 straight days to 0.95, the lowest it’s been since Sept. 2.
Any number over 1 means each person who gets COVID-19 is spreading the disease to more than one person, and getting the rate below 1 is considered key to suppressing the pandemic.
The latest figures were announced the same day a 103-year-old woman became the first resident of a New Jersey nursing home to be given a vaccine for the virus. Mildred Clements received the shot shortly after 9 a.m. as Murphy and the state’s top health official were there to witness the event at Roosevelt Care Center in Old Bridge.
“We have gone through some dark times together,” Murphy said at the event, “But the light is starting to break on the horizon.”
Roosevelt is one of about 90 long-term health facilities across the state scheduled for inoculations throughout the week, and Clements was the first of more than 83,000 residents who will get the vaccine through the beginning of February, according to the Murphy administration.
Though the shots were doled out with great fanfare, they came a week later than they could have after the state missed the federal deadline to file paperwork by one day. The error meant other states — including New York and Connecticut — are a week ahead of New Jersey in vaccinating staff members and residents at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Since the outbreak started in March, New Jersey has reported 463,965 cases out of more than 7.46 million tests administered. Those totals do not include rapid tests.
The state of 9 million residents has reported 18,651 deaths — 16,706 confirmed and 1,945 probable fatalities from complications related to the virus.
There were 3,684 patients hospitalized in New Jersey with 3,482 of them confirmed cases and 202 under investigation as of Sunday night. It was 150 more than the previous night.
That included 715 in critical or intensive care (29 more than the previous night), with 505 on ventilators (18 more than the previous evening).
here were 286 COVID patients discharged from hospitals Saturday, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.
The state Wednesday reported seven new confirmed in-school outbreaks in New Jersey, which resulted in 31 new cases.
There have now been 105 confirmed in-school outbreaks across the state, resulting in 459 cases among students and staff members across 98 schools.
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. The governor said of the 250,563 cases reported overall statewide since the school year began, only 2/10ths of 1% are “traced to activity within our schools.”
Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (31.4%), followed by those 50-64 (23.9%), 18-29 (19%), 65-79 (11.2%), 80 and older (5.8%), 5-17 (6.9%), and 0-4 (1.4%).
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 (47.51%), followed by those 65-79 (32%), 50-64 (15.85%), 30-49 (4.25%), 18-29 (0.37%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).
As of Monday morning, there were more than 80.8 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.76 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 19.1 million, and the most deaths, at more than 333,100.