New Jersey on Monday reported another 2,984 cases of the coronavirus and an additional 15 deaths as the state continues to cope with a third wave of the pandemic and access to get a vaccination opened up to many more people in the state.
Gov. Phil Murphy also announced Monday that all New Jersey residents at age 16 or older will be allowed to book appointments beginning April 19 — two weeks ahead of his original plan to make all people eligible.
“Never forget, the power to end this pandemic rests on our collective shoulders — all nine million of us,” the governor said during his latest COVID0-19 briefing.
“The decisions each of you make as individuals — to get vaccinated, to properly wear a mask, to stay home when not feeling well, to cooperate with contact tracers — these individual decisions protect you, your family and our community,” he said.
New Jersey health facilities and vaccine centers have now administered more than 4.7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since the state’s first shot was given Dec. 15. That includes more than 3 million people with at least one dose and 1.8 million people considered fully vaccinated, according to state data.
The state’s goal is to vaccinate 70% of its eligible adults — about 4.7 million people — by the end of May. About 24% of the state’s 6.9 million adult residents have been fully vaccinated so far.
The state’s seven-day average for newly confirmed cases is 3,918, up 7% from a week ago and 44% from a month ago.
The number of coronavirus patients across the state’s hospitals was at 2,292 people as of Sunday night. After dropping below 2,000 late last month, hospitalizations have slowly crept up the last few weeks.
The state’s rate of transmission was 1.07. Any number over 1 indicates that the outbreak is growing, with each new case leading to at least one other case.
In all, New Jersey has now reported 817,464 coronavirus cases out of more than 12.2 million PCR tests in the nearly 112,562 months since the state reported its first case on March 4, 2020. There have also been 112,562 positive antigen tests, including 513 reported Monday. 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 9.2 million people has reported 24,649 residents have died from complications related to COVID-19 — 22,081 confirmed deaths and 2,568 fatalities considered probable.
Officials said last week that younger people are at the center of the new wave as older residents are more likely to be vaccinated. The state has recently seen a 31% increase in people ages 20 to 29 being hospitalized and a 48% increase in those 40 to 49.
Officials have said hospitalizations likely won’t reach the levels they did during the first wave last spring (when more than 8,300 patients were hospitalized at the peak), and the state now has adequate supplies to battle the pandemic. But daily deaths are expected to increase and the state could experience “a very slow recovery” over the summer, state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said last week.
CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage
VACCINATIONS BY COUNTY
- ATLANTIC COUNTY - 151,653 doses administered
- BERGEN COUNTY - 528,708 doses administered
- BURLINGTON COUNTY - 252,386 doses administered
- CAMDEN COUNTY - 281,474 doses administered
- CAPE MAY COUNTY - 64,269 doses administered
- CUMBERLAND COUNTY - 66,053 doses administered
- ESSEX COUNTY - 360,877 doses administered
- GLOUCESTER COUNTY - 171,710 doses administered
- HUDSON COUNTY - 258,734 doses administered
- HUNTERDON COUNTY - 66,188 doses administered
- MERCER COUNTY - 181,630 doses administered
- MIDDLESEX COUNTY - 401,826 doses administered
- MONMOUTH COUNTY - 352,584 doses administered
- MORRIS COUNTY - 337,456 doses administered
- OCEAN COUNTY - 283,097 doses administered
- PASSAIC COUNTY - 211,667 doses administered
- SALEM COUNTY - 29,962 doses administered
- SOMERSET COUNTY - 192,512 doses administered
- SUSSEX COUNTY - 75,343 doses administered
- UNION COUNTY - 248,378 doses administered
- WARREN COUNTY - 47,781 doses administered
- OUT OF STATE - 118,911 doses administered
- UNKNOWN COUNTY - 18,526 doses administered
There were 2,292 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Sunday night — 40 fewer than the previous night.
That included 484 in critical or intensive care (40 fewer than the night before), with 233 on ventilators (29 fewer).
There were also 238 COVID-19 patients discharged Sunday.
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 221 in-school coronavirus outbreaks, which have resulted in 1,002 cases among students, teachers and school staff this academic year, according to the state’s dashboard.
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 last week announced most New Jersey schools can move classroom desks three feet apart, instead of six feet, under new social distancing guidelines.
The governor also said the state’s schools will return to full in-person classes for the next school year and districts will not be allowed to offer virtual learning, even for parents who want that option due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. But Murphy clarified Tuesday that students and teachers who have health issues that could put them at greater risk of a serious coronavirus case will have a virtual option.
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 (22.9%), 18-29 (19.8%), 65-79 (10.5%), 5-17 (9.2%), 80 and older (4.6%) and 0-4 (1.9%).
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 (46.9%), followed by those 65-79 (32.88%), 50-64 (15.68%), 30-49 (4.06%), 18-29 (0.37%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).
At least 7,989 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 active outbreaks at 225 facilities, resulting in 3,676 active cases among residents and 4,366 among staffers. Those numbers have been slowing as vaccinations continue at the facilities.
As of Monday morning, there have been more than 131.433 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 2.85 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 30.7 million, and the most deaths, at more than 555,000.
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Matt Arco may be reached at [email protected].