New Jersey reported an additional 880 confirmed coronavirus cases and 16 additional deaths on Monday, as Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state would drop many of its key COVID-19 capacity restrictions on May 19, now that the numbers continue to improve as vaccinations increase.
This is the first time since Oct. 17 that the Garden State has reported fewer than 1,000 cases in one day, as COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide fell further below 1,400 and the transmission rate statewide continued to fall, falling to 0.37.
All of this comes as 3.1 million people were fully vaccinated in New Jersey on Monday – about 45% of the state’s 6.9 million adults. The state’s goal is to vaccinate 70% of the state’s eligible population – around 4.7 million people – by the end of June.
Almost 4.3 million people – about 62% of adults – have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
With the numbers falling and vaccinations increasing, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut will eliminate many of their major capacity limits on May 19, including fixed caps inside restaurants, stores, personal services and other businesses, while removing all outdoor gathering caps. But the rules of indoor masking and social distancing will remain, with facilities needed to keep groups at least six feet apart. This can prevent full seating in restaurants and venues.
Meanwhile, some additional reopening stages slated for next Monday have been pushed back three days to Friday – including outdoor gathering limits dropping from 250 to 500 and size limits for indoor dining events, such as weddings and balls, increasing to 50% of the capacity, with a maximum of 250 people.
“The fact that we can do so much right now is that you have all done so much over the past year to help us crush the curves and position ourselves for victory against this pandemic,” Murphy said Monday after- noon during his last coronavirus briefing in Trenton. “Let’s go on. Keep getting the vaccine. Keep using your common sense. We’re getting there, together.
SUITE: NJ will drop many COVID restrictions on May 19. Restaurant, indoor capacity limits eliminated, but social distancing rules remain.
New Jersey’s seven-day average for new confirmed positive COVID-19 tests fell to 1,561, down 32% from a week ago and 61% from a month ago. Monday marked the fifth time in six days that the state has reported fewer than 2,000 new cases.
There were 1,424 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide on Sunday evening. This is the lowest figure since November 7.
The state’s transmission rate fell to 0.37 from 0.46 the day before, although state health commissioner Judith Persichilli noted that number could be artificially low due to a recent revision of the total number of cases to remove more than 10,000 duplicates. The state’s previous low was 0.60 last May, as residents were still in virtual lockdown. Any number less than 1 indicates that the epidemic is slowing down and that each new case results in less than one additional case.
“We will continue to assess this and see how this result goes forward,” said Persichilli. “But suffice to say we’re definitely under 1 and the lowest Rt we’ve seen in quite a while. “
The latest statewide positivity rate for tests performed on Thursday, the most recent day available, was 4.95% based on 35,761 tests.
New Jersey, an early epicenter of the coronavirus, has now reported 876,141 cases confirmed on more than 13.5 million PCR tests in almost 14 months since the state reported its first case on March 4, 2020.
There was also 124,852 positive antigen tests during the epidemic. These cases are considered probable and health officials have warned that positive antigen tests could overlap with confirmed PCR tests as they are sometimes given in tandem.
The state of 9.2 million people has reported that 25,616 residents have died from complications from COVID-19 – including 22,991 confirmed deaths and 2,625 deaths considered probable.
New Jersey has the most coronavirus deaths per capita among U.S. states.
Officials also announced an effort called “Operation Jersey Summer” to help ensure the state meets its goal of vaccinating 70% of adults by the end of next month. This includes providing visitation hours to the state’s six mega-vaccination sites, locating vaccination numbers, and having people knocking on doors.
“We are in the last great assault of this pandemic,” Murphy said. “We must succeed in this assault.”
In addition, a dozen New Jersey breweries will be giving away a free beer to anyone who receives a first dose of the vaccine this month.
CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracking | Bulletin | Home page
There were 1,424 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 on Sunday evening – 50 fewer than the night before, according to state data.
This included 325 in critical or intensive care (two fewer), with 197 on ventilators (29 fewer).
There were 148 COVID-19 patients discharged on Sunday.
By comparison, hospitalizations peaked at over 8,300 patients in the first wave of the pandemic in April and over 3,800 in the second wave in December.
New Jersey has reported 263 school coronavirus outbreaks, which have resulted in 1,157 cases among students, teachers and school staff this school year, state data shows.
The state defines outbreaks in schools as cases where contact tracers determined that two or more students or school staff had caught or transmitted COVID-19 in class or during academic activities at the school. school. These figures do not include students or staff suspected of having been infected outside of school or cases that cannot be confirmed as outbreaks at school.
There are an estimated 1.4 million students and teachers in public schools across the state, although teaching methods amid the outbreak have varied, with some schools teaching in person, some using a hybrid format and others remaining completely distant.
Murphy said schools in New Jersey are expected to resume in-person classes for the next school year.
Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (30.9%), followed by 50-64 (22.5%), 18-29 (19.9%), 65-79 (10.1%), 5-17 (9.9%), 80 years and over (4.4%) and 0-4 (2%).
On average, the virus has been deadlier for older residents, especially those with pre-existing conditions. Almost half of the deaths from COVID-19 in the state were among residents aged 80 and over (45.9%), followed by those aged 65 to 79 (33.6%), from 50 to 64 (16.1%), 30 to 49 (4%), 18 to 29. (0.4%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0%).
At least 8,030 of the deaths from COVID-19 in the state have occurred among residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data.
There are active outbreaks in 218 facilities, resulting in 2,467 active cases among residents and 3,304 among staff. These numbers have slowed as vaccinations continue in facilities.
As of early Monday afternoon, there had been more than 153 million positive COVID-19 tests worldwide, according to an ongoing count from Johns Hopkins University. More than 3.2 million people have died from complications from the coronavirus.
The United States has reported the most cases, at over 32.4 million, and the most deaths, at over 577,000.
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Brent Johnson can be reached at [email protected].