New Jersey on Wednesday reported another 3,786 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 92 additional deaths, while Gov. Phil Murphy extended the state’s public-health emergency by 30 days for a 12th time and the state surpassed 410,000 people who have been fully vaccinated.
The Garden State’s seven-day average for new confirmed positive cases is now 2,804, down 15% from a week ago and down 48% from a month ago, as the second wave of the pandemic continues to show signs of subsiding.
The number of coronavirus patients in New Jersey’s hospitals fell for the 14th straight day, dropping to 2,370 as of Tuesday night. That’s down 39% from a recent peak of 3,872 on Dec. 22 and the fewest number of patients since Nov. 16.
The latest statewide rate of transmission is 0.91, up slightly from 0.90 the day before. When the rate is below 1, that indicates the state’s outbreak is slowing. But the rate has now risen for five straight days after weeks of steadily declining.
The statewide positivity rate for tests conducted on Saturday, the most recent day reported, was 10.8% based on 18,835. The positivity rate tends to be higher on weekends when far fewer tests are conducted.
Murphy announced the numbers during his latest coronavirus briefing in Trenton, held in person for the first time in a week after an undisclosed member of his family tested positive for the virus.
The governor noted that 1.4 million total vaccine doses have now been administered in New Jersey and the effort continues to ramp up, with Murphy’s office noting doses have jumped by about 500,000 in the last nine days. But demand continues to outpace supply.
“Each day, these numbers move upward by several tens of thousands. It is consistent progress,” Murphy said. “We know there remain many, many residents who want to be included in these numbers but aren’t yet because of the scarcity of appointments due to the scarcity of vaccines. We hear you and we understand your anxiety.”
“We will get there,” he added.
Murphy said extending the public-health emergency to early next month — which will be about a year since the state’s outbreak started — will help the state Department of Health regulate vaccine distribution.
New Jersey has now reported 673,108 confirmed coronavirus cases out of 10 million PCR tests in the more than 11 months since the state reported its first case March 4, 2020. There have also been 82,066 positive antigen tests, including 709 more reported Wednesday. Those cases are considered probable, and health officials have warned that positive antigen tests could overlap with the confirmed PCR tests because they are sometimes given in tandem.
The state of 9 million people has also reported 22,632 residents have died from complications related to COVID-19 — including 20,343 confirmed fatalities and 2,289 considered probable. The probable death toll, which is revised weekly, was increased by 43 fatalities on Wednesday.
Murphy said Wednesday the state would likely plan to further lift coronavirus restrictions if it weren’t for the uncertainty surrounding more contagious variants that have been found across the globe.
“If we continue to see especially hospitalizations continue to drop, there’s no question we’ll take more steps to open up,” he said. “But I think we will be more cautious than we otherwise would have been absent the variants.”
Only one COVID-19 variant has been discovered in New Jersey — the one that emerged in the United Kingdom, state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Wednesday. So far, the state has recorded 50 cases of the variant, Persichilli said.
Health officials say vaccines appear to be effective against the U.K. variant, but the strain is more contagious than the typical coronavirus strain.
There have been 1,470,941 vaccine doses administered in New Jersey as of Wednesday morning, according to the state’s dashboard. Of those, 1,058,573 were the first of two doses people will receive, while 412,118 were the second.
That’s out of more than 1.79 million doses the state has received from the federal government, according to a running tally by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The state’s goal is to vaccinate at least 70% of its adult population by the end of May. That’s about 4.7 million people.
- ATLANTIC COUNTY – 46,016 doses administered
- BERGEN COUNTY – 163,977 doses administered
- BURLINGTON COUNTY – 76,325 doses administered
- CAMDEN COUNTY – 85,755 doses administered
- CAPE MAY COUNTY – 21,165 doses administered
- CUMBERLAND COUNTY – 20,744 doses administered
- ESSEX COUNTY – 121,074 doses administered
- GLOUCESTER COUNTY – 52,410 doses administered
- HUDSON COUNTY – 67,419 doses administered
- HUNTERDON COUNTY – 19,619 doses administered
- MERCER COUNTY – 40,881 doses administered
- MIDDLESEX COUNTY – 112,661 doses administered
- MONMOUTH COUNTY – 110,703 doses administered
- MORRIS COUNTY – 107,767 doses administered
- OCEAN COUNTY – 88,552 doses administered
- PASSAIC COUNTY – 66,506 doses administered
- SALEM COUNTY – 9,180 doses administered
- SOMERSET COUNTY – 56,376 doses administered
- SUSSEX COUNTY – 22,749 doses administered
- UNION COUNTY – 71,592 doses administered
- WARREN COUNTY – 13,737 doses administered
- UNKNOWN COUNTY – 48,653 doses administered
- OUT OF STATE – 47,080 doses administered
There were 2,370 patients hospitalized with confirmed (2,203) or suspected (167) COVID-19 cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Tuesday night — 42 fewer than the previous night.
That included 411 in critical or intensive care (83 fewer than the previous night), with 309 on ventilators (three fewer).
There were also 301 COVID-19 patients discharged Tuesday, according to the state’s dashboard. Another 253 patients were admitted, Murphy said.
“These numbers all continue their recent downward trend, which is a very promising sign,” the governor said.
New Jersey on Tuesday reported two new in-school coronavirus outbreaks, bringing the state’s total to 144 in-school outbreaks, which have resulted in 686 cases among students, teachers, and school staff this academic year.
Outbreaks — defined as cases in which people were confirmed to have caught or transmitted the virus in the classroom or during academic activities — have been reported in all 21 counties, according to the state’s 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.
There are about 1.4 million students and teachers across the state, though teaching methods amid the outbreak have varied, some are in-person, some are hybrid and others are all-remote.
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%), followed by those 50-64 (23.4%), 18-29 (19.4%), 65-79 (11%), 5-17 (8.2%), 80 and older (5.1%), and 0-4 (1.7%).
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 (47.36%), followed by those 65-79 (32.7%), 50-64 (15.55%), 30-49 (4.02%), 18-29 (0.36%), 5-17 (0%), and 0-4 (0.02%).
At least 7,863 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
There are currently active outbreaks at 387 facilities, resulting in 6,967 active cases among residents and 7,084 among staffers.
As of early Wednesday afternoon, there have been 109.6 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 2.4 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 27.7 million, and the most deaths, at more than 488,300.