New Jersey health officials reported 5,490 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 67 additional deaths on Friday as vaccination locations reported a huge surge in appointments with the eligibility expansion that started a day earlier.
Gov. Phil Murphy provided the latest update Friday afternoon after touring the state’s third vaccination mega site to open. The site at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison is among six total planned. More than 310,000 people have been vaccinated in New Jersey so far.
“We are ready to move forward with an aggressive expansion of our vaccination efforts,” Murphy said. “We just need the supply from the feds to meet the demand. We are ready, they are not.”
There were 3,543 patients hospitalized in New Jersey with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases as of Thursday night. That’s 96 fewer than the previous night and the second consecutive the number of people hospitalized dropped.
The state of 9 million residents has now lost 20,320 residents in the COVID-19 outbreak — 18,229 confirmed deaths and 2,091 considered probable. New Jersey has already announced 1,130 confirmed deaths this month, following 1,890 in December.
New has now reported 555,299 total confirmed cases out of more than 8.6 million tests administered since officials announced the state’s first case March 4. There have also been 60,787 positive rapid antigen tests, which the state began reporting publicly last week, though the state has cautioned that could overlap with the confirmed PCR tests.
The statewide rate of COVID-19 transmission remained increased slightly Friday to 1.11, up from 1.10 a day earlier. A transmission rate over 1 indicates the outbreak is expanding.
The seven-day average for new confirmed cases is 5,587, up 15% from a week ago and 18% from a month ago.
The positivity rate for tests administered on Monday, the most recent day available, was 9.63% out of 70,055 tests. The positivity rate had been at 10% or higher since Dec. 22.
New Jersey’s top health official warned Wednesday the state is preparing for a “surge” in hospitalizations from the latest spike cases that could come as soon as next week and may trigger a new round of restrictions, particularly with elective surgeries.
While hospitalizations have remained between 3,500 and 3,900 for weeks, far below the more than 8,000 peak in the spring, Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said that hospital officials are concerned about the weeks ahead due to available staffing.
“We are preparing for the predictive surge that may start as early as next week into the middle of February,” Persichilli said Wednesday.
“What we will not have is the appropriate level of staffing that people are familiar with, conventional staffing,” she said. “So we will be working with our hospitals if they need to progress to what we call contingency staffing, and hopefully never crisis staffing.”
Murphy has warned that hospitalizations above 5,000 patients would likely trigger some new restrictions — particularly on elective surgeries, which include procedures like removing tumors.
More than 310,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in the state as of Friday, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. Of those, 273,335 were the first of two doses people will receive, while 35,512 were the second, according to the dashboard.
The single-day high so far was Jan. 8, when 24,482 doses were administered, according to the state.
New Jersey has averaged about 9,500 shots a day through the first 30 days of the program, including Christmas Day when no doses were administered. The state has been averaging about 17,000 shots a day over the last seven days, state records show.
The state has faced criticism for rolling out inoculations too slowly. Officials stress there may be an undercounting of the number of vaccines administered because of reporting delays and New Jersey, like other states, is depending on the federal government for its supply.
Murphy announced Wednesday people over 65 years old, as well as people with chronic health conditions and smokers are now eligible to get vaccinations.
Officials have said doses should be available for the general public by April or May. Health officials have said they hope to vaccinate 70% of its adult residents — about 4.7 million people — by the end of May.
In recent days, the state has opened the first two of its six planned “mega-sites” for mass vaccinations. There are also vaccines currently available at 130 locations throughout the state, including local health departments, ShopRite stores, and pharmacies.
More than 1.5 million people have registered to get their vaccine.
VACCINE DOSES ADMINISTERED BY COUNTY
- ATLANTIC COUNTY – 10,811 doses administered
- BERGEN COUNTY – 34,325 doses administered
- BURLINGTON COUNTY – 15,038 doses administered
- CAMDEN COUNTY – 17,465 doses administered
- CAPE MAY COUNTY – 4,535 doses administered
- CUMBERLAND COUNTY – 4,477 doses administered
- ESSEX COUNTY – 25,037 doses administered
- GLOUCESTER COUNTY – 13,033 doses administered
- HUDSON COUNTY – 11,033 doses administered
- HUNTERDON COUNTY – 4,937 doses administered
- MERCER COUNTY – 7,342 doses administered
- MIDDLESEX COUNTY – 23,017 doses administered
- MONMOUTH COUNTY – 24,521 doses administered
- MORRIS COUNTY – 22,675 doses administered
- OCEAN COUNTY – 16,679 doses administered
- PASSAIC COUNTY – 14,294 doses administered
- SALEM COUNTY – 1,520 doses administered
- SOMERSET COUNTY – 12,317 doses administered
- SUSSEX COUNTY – 5,248 doses administered
- UNION COUNTY – 14,728 doses administered
- WARREN COUNTY – 3,227 doses administered
- OUT-OF-STATE RESIDENTS – 15,104 doses administered
- UNKNOWN COUNTY – 9,232 doses administered
There were 3,543 patients hospitalized in New Jersey with confirmed (3,313) or suspected (230) COVID-19 cases as of Thursday night. It was 96 fewer than the previous night and the second consecutive the number of people hospitalized dropped.
It included 626 in critical or intensive care (18 fewer than the previous night), with 438 on ventilators (19 fewer).
There were 452 COVID-19 patients discharged Thursday and 427 admitted, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.
There have been 111 in-school coronavirus outbreaks in New Jersey involving 557 students, teachers and staff since the school year began in late August, according to the state 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.
The number of New Jersey school districts with all-remote learning has increased as students return from winter break, Murphy said on Monday.
There are 339 districts that started 2021 remotely — an increase of 18 all-remote districts from Dec. 21. Only 77 school districts are returning with full in-person instruction (down from 82 on Dec. 21), and 348 are returning with a hybrid of in-person or remote instruction (down from 362).
Another 47 districts are using some combination of in-person, hybrid, or all-remote across multiple buildings — one more than Dec. 21.
Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (31.3%), followed by those 50-64 (23.8%), 18-29 (19.2%), 65-79 (11.2%), 80 and older (5.5%), 5-17 (7.3%) and 0-4 (1.5%).
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 (47.49%), followed by those 65-79 (32.29%), 50-64 (15.68%), 30-49 (4.14%), 18-29 (0.36%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (.03%).
At least 7,606 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 428 facilities, resulting in 6,510 active cases among residents and 7,034 among staffers.
As of Friday morning, there were more than 93.3 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.99 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 23.3 million, and the most deaths, at more than 388,700.
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