New Jersey on Thursday reported a single-day record 6,314 new confirmed positive tests for the coronavirus and another 123 confirmed deaths as hospitalizations declined slightly for the first time since New Year’s Day and the state continues to expand its vaccination efforts.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced the latest numbers on Twitter after two earlier public appearances for bill signings.
The 6,314 positive tests reported Thursday is just the third time new confirmed cases have topped 6,000. It happened twice in December and the previous one-day high was 6,247 on Dec. 12. The case numbers, however, are difficult to compare to the early weeks of the outbreak in the spring when a lack of testing likely undercounted the extent of the outbreak.
The seven-day average for new positive confirmed test increased Thursday to 4,825, up 22% from a week ago, but down 2% from a month ago when New Jersey had a sharp increase following the Thanksgiving holiday. The peak of the seven-day average was 5,151 daily cases on Dec. 9.
The state has now reported 510,839 positive PCR tests out of the more than 8 million administered since its first case was announced March 4. The state has also reported 53,959 probable cases from the rapid antigen tests including 1,560 new antigen positive tests on Thursday. Those antigen results were made publicly available for the first time on Monday, but officials warned those cases could overlap with the more reliable PCR tests, which are sometimes administered in tandem.
Since March, the state has reported 19,646 COVID-19 deaths — 17,587 confirmed and 2,059 probable fatalities from complications related to the virus. New Jersey has reported 466 confirmed deaths in just the first six days of the month. The state reported 1,890 deaths in December, the most in a month since May.
The state’s rate of transmission increased again on Thursday to 0.99, up from 0.96 a day earlier. Any number over 1 indicates the outbreak is expanding, and the gradual increase in the transmission rate in recent days indicates the expansion accelerating.
New Jersey’s hospitals reported 3,711 patients as of Wednesday night. The number dipped slightly from the previous day after a four-day increase.
COUNTY-BY-COUNTY NUMBERS (sorted by most new)
- Middlesex County: 48,222 confirmed cases (662 new), 1,515 confirmed deaths (220 probable)
- Hudson County: 46,886 confirmed cases (601 new), 1,571 confirmed deaths (169 probable)
- Monmouth County: 34,771 confirmed cases (577 new), 985 confirmed deaths (102 probable)
- Bergen County: 49,974 confirmed cases (571 new), 2,095 confirmed deaths (266 probable)
- Essex County: 49,865 confirmed cases (542 new), 2,167 confirmed deaths (255 probable)
- Ocean County: 35,174 confirmed cases (431 new), 1,351 confirmed deaths (83 probable)
- Camden County: 30,639 confirmed cases (400 new), 801 confirmed deaths (66 probable)
- Passaic County: 41,659 confirmed cases (400 new), 1,337 confirmed deaths (159 probable)
- Union County: 38,180 confirmed cases (335 new), 1,401 confirmed deaths (183 probable)
- Morris County: 21,711 confirmed cases (284 new), 800 confirmed deaths (187 probable)
- Burlington County: 23,063 confirmed cases (277 new), 592 confirmed deaths (51 probable)
- Gloucester County: 15,395 confirmed cases (226 new), 400 confirmed deaths (20 probable)
- Mercer County: 19,897 confirmed cases (190 new), 708 confirmed deaths (39 probable)
- Atlantic County: 13,238 confirmed cases (161 new), 369 confirmed deaths (17 probable)
- Somerset County: 13,440 confirmed cases (136 new), 596 confirmed deaths (93 probable)
- Sussex County: 4,978 confirmed cases (96 new), 178 confirmed deaths (46 probable)
- Cumberland County: 8,494 confirmed cases (90 new), 232 confirmed deaths (10 probable)
- Warren County: 4,263 confirmed cases (66 new), 171 confirmed deaths (13 probable)
- Hunterdon County: 4,084 confirmed cases (62 new), 86 confirmed deaths (54 probable)
- Salem County: 3,082 confirmed cases (60 new), 108 confirmed deaths (7 probable)
- Cape May County: 2,579 confirmed cases (44 new), 124 confirmed deaths (19 probable)
There have been at least 137,829 doses of the vaccine for the coronavirus administered in New Jersey as of Wednesday since the first shots were given three weeks ago, though that may be an undercount due to reporting delays, Murphy said.
Starting on Thursday, police and fire professionals became eligible for the vaccine.
Officials hope to vaccinate 70% of New Jersey adult residents — about 4.7 million people — in the next six months. The state is rolling out the vaccine in phases, with health care workers and people who live in congregant settings like nursing homes and prisons in the first phase. Officials have said doses should be available for the general public by April or May.
There were 3,711 patients hospitalized in New Jersey with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday night — 32 fewer than the previous night.
That included 654 in critical or intensive care (14 fewer than the previous night), with 430 on ventilators (27 fewer than the previous evening).
There were 447 COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals.
There have been 108 in-school coronavirus outbreaks in New Jersey involving 546 students, teachers and staff since the school year began in late August, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.
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.
New Jersey defines school outbreaks as cases where contact tracers determined two or more students or school staff caught or transmitted COVID-19 in the classroom or during academic activities at school.
The number of New Jersey school districts with all-remote learning has increased as students return from winter break, Murphy said on Monday.
There are 339 districts that started 2021 remotely — an increase of 18 all-remote districts from Dec. 21. Only 77 school districts are returning with full in-person instruction (down from 82 on Dec. 21), and 348 are returning with a hybrid of in-person or remote instruction (down from 362).
Another 47 districts are using some combination of in-person, hybrid, or all-remote across multiple buildings — one more than Dec. 21.
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 (19.1%), 65-79 (11.2%), 80 and older (5.7%), 5-17 (7.1%), and 0-4 (1.5%).
On average, the virus has been more deadly for older residents, especially those with preexisting conditions. Nearly half the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents 80 and older (47.48%), followed by those 65-79 (32.14%), 50-64 (15.78%), 30-49 (4.19%), 18-29 (0.37%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).
As of Thursday morning, there were more than 87.3 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.88 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 21.3 million, and the most deaths, at more than 361,200.