New Jersey on Sunday reported another 1,516 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and an additional 13 confirmed deaths, while statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to drop further below 2,000.
Sunday’s numbers were the lowest they’ve been in months, with hospitalizations and new cases dipping down to early November levels.
Gov. Phil Murphy posted the latest numbers on Twitter, ahead of what he has called “fairly significant news” on the next steps for the Garden State and its gradual reopening this week. He has not yet provided details, though he has said any steps would be incremental.
New Jersey’s COVID-19 hospitalizations were below 2,000 for the third straight day, with 1,753 patients as of Saturday night.
This marks a full week that the state has reported fewer than 3,000 new cases.
The current seven-day rolling average for new cases in the state is 2,377. That’s down 23% from a week ago and nearly 30% from a month ago.
More than 2.77 million people have been fully vaccinated in the state as of Saturday — more than 40% of the state’s 6.9 million adult residents. The state’s goal is to fully vaccinate 70% of its eligible adult population — about 4.7 million people — by the end of June.
Earlier in the week, Murphy said he believed the state would reach that mark, despite some vaccine centers reporting a decrease in appointments.
But the governor also warned the state is “beginning to see” hesitancy among residents prompting a reduced demand for the vaccine. He said the state is brainstorming ways to “proactively reach” into communities to drum up support for the vaccine — including possibly using mobile units, public service announcements, working with businesses and “maybe knocking on your door.”
In all, more than 6.5 million vaccine doses have been administered in New Jersey, with more than 4 million people receiving at least one dose.
The state’s rate of transmission ticked down slightly on Sunday to 0.92 after four days at 0.93. Any number over 1 indicates that the outbreak is growing, with each new case leading to at least one other case. A declining transmission rate means the spread is slowing.
The statewide positivity rate for tests conducted on Tuesday, the most recent day available, was 6.64%.
In all, New Jersey has now reported 874,895 confirmed coronavirus cases out of slightly more than 13 million PCR tests in the nearly 14 months since the state reported its first case on March 4, 2020. There have also been 122,996 positive antigen tests. 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 reported 25,380 residents have died from complications related to COVID-19 — including 22,769 confirmed deaths and 2,611 fatalities considered probable.
New Jersey has the most coronavirus deaths per capita among American states.
There were 1,753 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases as of Saturday night — 61 fewer than the previous night, according to state data. However, only 69 of New Jersey’s 71 hospitals reported hospitalizations.
That included 402 in critical or intensive care (27 fewer than the night before), with 239 on ventilators (the same as the night before).
There were also 245 COVID-19 patients discharged Saturday.
By comparison, hospitalizations peaked at more than 8,300 patients during the first wave of the pandemic in April and more than 3,800 during the second wave in December.
New Jersey has reported 254 in-school coronavirus outbreaks, which have resulted in 1,125 cases among students, teachers and school staff this academic year, according to state data.
The state 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. 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.
There are about 1.4 million public school students and teachers across the state, though teaching methods amid the outbreak have varied, with some schools teaching in-person, some using a hybrid format and others remaining all-remote.
Murphy has said New Jersey’s schools are expected to return to full in-person classes for the next school year.
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 (22.6%), 18-29 (19.9%), 65-79 (10.1%), 5-17 (9.8%), 80 and older (4.4%) and 0-4 (2%).
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 (46.57%), followed by those 65-79 (32.97%), 50-64 (15.99%), 30-49 (4.06%), 18-29 (0.39%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).
At least 8,021 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data.
There are active outbreaks at 229 facilities, resulting in 2,805 active cases among residents and 3,626 among staffers. Those numbers have slowed as vaccinations continue at the facilities.
As of Sunday morning, there have been more than 146.5 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 3.1 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 32 million, and the most deaths, at more than 571,900.
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