New Jersey on Wednesday reported another 4,582 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 122 additional deaths as hospitalizations increased for a second day, but remain far below the peak during the initial months of the outbreak.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced the latest numbers on social media while he remains in Washington, D.C. for Inauguration Day.
The state of 9 million residents has now lost 20,664 residents in the COVID-19 pandemic — 18,543 confirmed deaths and 2,121 deaths considered probable, according to state data. The probable deaths, which are revised weekly, increased Wednesday by 30 fatalities. The state has reported 1,552 newly confirmed deaths in January with eight days of 100 or more.
The seven-day average for new confirmed cases fell to 4,749, down 16% from a week ago, though up 2.5% from a month ago.
New Jersey has reported 576,720 total confirmed cases out of 8.9 million tests administered since officials announced the state’s first case March 4. There have also been 64,420 positive rapid antigen tests, which the state began reporting publicly earlier this month, though officials have cautioned that they could overlap with the confirmed PCR tests.
The statewide rate of transmission declined to 1.08, down from 1.11 Tuesday. A transmission rate over 1 indicates the outbreak is expanding.
New Jersey’s 71 hospitals reported 3,547 patients as of Tuesday night, up 41 from the night before despite 382 patients being discharged. That’s still down from a recent high of 3,873 on Dec. 22 and far below the 8,300 patients hospitalized in the mid-April peak.
At least 421,297 doses of the vaccine had been administered in New Jersey as of Wednesday, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. Of those, 371,310 were the first of two doses people will receive, while 49,759 were the second.
The state hit a high of 27,767 doses administered in a single day on Thursday, based on the most current data.
That was the first day New Jersey expanded vaccine eligibility to those 65 and over, residents with certain health conditions, and smokers, creating a backlog for appointments when vaccines promised by the federal government did not materialize.
Four of the six coronavirus vaccine mega-sites have opened throughout New Jersey to serve as vaccination hubs.
New Jersey has faced criticism for having a slower rollout than dozens of other states as it continues to deal with a second wave of the pandemic, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The state has been doling out doses in phases. And even though officials last week greatly expanded vaccine eligibility, demand remains greater than supply, and residents are scrambling for scarce appointments. More than 4 million New Jersey residents are now eligible.
Officials stress that the state is depending on the federal government for its supply and is receiving only 100,000 doses a week, though New Jersey has the capacity for 470,000 a day.
Murphy on Saturday said the federal government has not provided additional doses that were promised.
- ATLANTIC COUNTY – 12,880 doses
- BERGEN COUNTY – 46,145 doses
- BURLINGTON COUNTY – 20,414 doses
- CAMDEN COUNTY – 24,455 doses
- CAPE MAY COUNTY – 6,204 doses
- CUMBERLAND COUNTY – 6,071 doses
- ESSEX COUNTY – 34,873 doses
- GLOUCESTER COUNTY – 14,744 doses
- HUDSON COUNTY – 18,179 doses
- HUNTERDON COUNTY – 6,649 doses
- MERCER COUNTY – 10,293 doses
- MIDDLESEX COUNTY – 31,525 doses
- MONMOUTH COUNTY – 32,063 doses
- MORRIS COUNTY – 30,158 doses
- OCEAN COUNTY – 24,439 doses
- PASSAIC COUNTY – 18,900 doses
- SALEM COUNTY – 2,016 doses
- SOMERSET COUNTY – 17,294 doses
- SUSSEX COUNTY – 6,954 doses
- UNION COUNTY – 20,840 doses
- WARREN COUNTY – 4,314 doses
- OUT OF STATE – 18,919 doses
- UNKNOWN COUNTY – 12,968 doses
The 3,547 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases across New Jersey’s hospitals as of Tuesday night included 635 in critical or intensive care (the same as the previous night), with 432 on ventilators (three more).
There were 382 COVID-19 patients discharged Tuesday, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.
The governor has said any hospitalizations over 5,000 patients would likely trigger new rounds of restrictions.
But state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Monday that officials aren’t concerned at the moment about an upcoming surge in the number of people needing to be hospitalized.
“The interesting thing is: Our cases are increasing and our mortalities are increasing, but our hospitalizations are not,” Persichilli told reporters before a public event in Old Bridge.
“Hospitalizations are staying pretty stable,” she said. “I think it’s still affecting older individuals. Almost 60% of our deaths are older individuals, so it may be that it’s more transmissible, more asymptomatic. It’s over 50% now are asymptomatic transmissions. Asymptomatic transmitters are perhaps affecting older, vulnerable adults, and that’s who is ending up in the hospitals, and the mortality is significant.”
At least 597 students and staff in 121 school districts in New Jersey have caught COVID-19 through in-school outbreaks, according to the latest update from state health officials.
That’s an increase of 10 districts and 40 cases from the previous weekly report. There are now confirmed in-school outbreaks in all 21 counties, though the state does not identify the individual school districts.
Bergen county has the most outbreaks (26) and cases (115). The county also has the most confirmed cases overall with 55,349 as of Wednesday.
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.
Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (31.2%), followed by those 50-64 (23.7%), 18-29 (19.3%), 65-79 (11.1%), 5-17 (7.5%), 80 and older (5.4%), and 0-4 (1.6%).
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%), followed by those 65-79 (33%), 50-64 (15.6%), 30-49 (4%), 18-29 (0.4%), 5-17 (0%), and 0-4 (0%).
At least 7,668 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 months, with deaths at the state’s nursing homes nearly tripling in December.
There are currently active outbreaks at 431 facilities, resulting in 7,054 active cases among residents and 7,619 among staffers.
As of Wednesday morning, there were more than 96.3 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 2.06 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 24.26 million, and the most deaths, at more than 402,200.