New Jersey on Tuesday reported another 2,393 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and an additional 40 confirmed deaths as Gov. Phil Murphy said numbers are moving “in the right direction” and could lead to more reopening steps.

While hospitalizations for COVID-19 increased Monday night for the first time in a week, the state is more than halfway to its vaccination goal of 70% of adults by the end of June.

Murphy announced the numbers on social media hours after saying during a television interview the state will “definitely continue to open up” incrementally if the figures keep improving. The comments come nearly three weeks after officials declared a third wave of the pandemic was hitting the state.

The remarks also come a day after New Jersey opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility up to everyone 16 and older in the state.

The state’s seven-day average for new confirmed positive tests is now 2,942, down 8% from a week ago and 12% from a month ago.

More than 2.54 million people have been fully vaccinated in the state as of Tuesday — about 37% of the state’s 6.9 million adult residents. In all, more than 6.15 million vaccine doses have been administered in New Jersey, with more than 3.8 million people receiving at least one dose.

There were 2,108 coronavirus patients across the state’s 71 hospitals as of Monday night — an increase of 46 patients after six days of decreases.

The state’s rate of transmission was at 0.92 for a second day. The rate had dropped steadily after reaching 1.07 on April 5. 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.

Murphy said Tuesday the state’s improving numbers are because people continue to wear masks and practice social distancing, weather is improving, and vaccinations are increasing.

“Knocking on wood, at long last, I think things are starting to go in the right direction,” he said on WPIX-11.

New Jersey has so far not come close to matching the prediction models that Murphy’s administration released last month to warn about the third wave. The models showed the state could peak at 5,445 cases and 2,669 people hospitalized with COVID-19 under a moderate scenario on April 18, which was Monday. The worst-case scenario said the state could peak at 8,162 cases and 3,664 people hospitalized on May 18. But officials stressed that human behavior, including mask-wearing and social distancing, could prevent those scenarios from happening.

In all, New Jersey has now reported 862,811 confirmed coronavirus cases out of more than 12.9 million PCR tests in the nearly 14 months since the state reported its first case on March 4, 2020. There have also been 121,064 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 25,206 residents have died from complications related to COVID-19 — including 22,614 confirmed deaths and 2,592 fatalities considered probable. New Jersey has the most coronavirus deaths per capita among American states.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

VACCINATIONS BY COUNTY

  • ATLANTIC COUNTY - 194,435 doses administered
  • BERGEN COUNTY - 687,279 doses administered
  • BURLINGTON COUNTY - 324,511 doses administered
  • CAMDEN COUNTY - 359,233 doses administered
  • CAPE MAY COUNTY - 78,064 doses administered
  • CUMBERLAND COUNTY - 84,474 doses administered
  • ESSEX COUNTY - 477,070 doses administered
  • GLOUCESTER COUNTY - 218,045 doses administered
  • HUDSON COUNTY - 376,420 doses administered
  • HUNTERDON COUNTY - 89,175 doses administered
  • MERCER COUNTY - 243,540 doses administered
  • MIDDLESEX COUNTY - 543,670 doses administered
  • MONMOUTH COUNTY - 449,833 doses administered
  • MORRIS COUNTY - 429,580 doses administered
  • OCEAN COUNTY - 363,390 doses administered
  • PASSAIC COUNTY - 288,728 doses administered
  • SALEM COUNTY - 38,356 doses administered
  • SOMERSET COUNTY - 254,068 doses administered
  • SUSSEX COUNTY - 94,700 doses administered
  • UNION COUNTY - 343,534 doses administered
  • WARREN COUNTY - 61,099 doses administered
  • UNKNOWN COUNTY - 3,399 doses administered
  • OUT OF STATE - 148,398 doses administered

HOSPITALIZATIONS

There were 2,108 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Monday night — 46 more than the previous night, according to state data.

That included 463 in critical or intensive care (28 more than the night before), with 254 on ventilators (four more).

There were also 184 COVID-19 patients discharged Monday.

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.

SCHOOL CASES

New Jersey has reported 245 in-school coronavirus outbreaks, which have resulted in 1,094 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.

AGE BREAKDOWN

Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (30.9%), followed by those 50-64 (22.7%), 18-29 (19.9%), 65-79 (10.2%), 5-17 (9.7%), 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 (46.66%), followed by those 65-79 (32.91%), 50-64 (15.95%), 30-49 (4.06%), 18-29 (0.39%), 5-17 (0.01%) and 0-4 (0.03%).

At least 8,015 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 236 facilities, resulting in 2,870 active cases among residents and 3,727 among staffers. Those numbers have slowed as vaccinations continue at the facilities.

GLOBAL NUMBERS

As of Tuesday, there have been more than 142.3 million positive COVID-19 tests across the globe, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 3 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.

The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 31.7 million, and the most deaths, at more than 568,100.

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Brent Johnson may be reached at [email protected].





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