New Jersey reported 1,648 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 more confirmed deaths on Saturday, while the number of people hospitalized in the state remains at its highest level since mid-May.
The Delta variant accounted for 90% of positive tests sampled in New Jersey during the last available four-week period ending July 24, according to state data.
As of Friday evening, 776 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 or suspected cases at 71 New Jersey hospitals, 23 more than the night before. This is the most since May 19.
Hospitalizations have more than doubled in the past month, although they remain well below the more than 3,800 patients at the height of the second wave of the pandemic in December.
Of those hospitalized, 133 were in intensive care (one more than the day before), with 51 on ventilators (six fewer). There were 95 patients discharged.
New Jersey’s statewide transmission rate was 1.27, down slightly from 1.28 the previous day. Any number greater than 1 indicates that each new case results in more than one additional case and shows that the state’s epidemic is spreading.
The statewide positivity rate for tests performed on Tuesday, the most recent day available, was 4.76%, according to state data.
More than 5.4 million people who live, work or study in New Jersey have now been fully vaccinated in more than seven months since the start of inoculations, according to state data. About 4 million people are still not vaccinated.
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On Monday, state health commissioner Judith Persichilli said the state’s predictive models showed New Jersey would likely register around 1,000 cases per day “for some time” during this outbreak. She added that hospitalizations are expected to be “higher than what we are seeing now, but not totally through the roof.”
One of the first coronavirus hotspots, New Jersey has now reported a total of 26,692 COVID-19-related deaths in over 17 months – 23,972 confirmed and 2,720 considered probable. Probable deaths, which are reviewed weekly, increased by one Monday. This is the highest number of coronavirus deaths per capita in the United States
In total, the state of 9.2 million people has reported 925,147 total confirmed cases out of more than 14.8 million PCR tests since its first case was announced on March 4, 2020. The state has also reported 134,513 positive antigen tests, which are considered probable cases.
Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that of New Jersey’s 4,332 positive tests between July 20 and July 26, nearly 18 percent were so-called breakthrough cases of those who had been fully immunized, up from previous weeks.
But he said that of the 378 coronavirus patients admitted to state hospitals at that time, 97% were not or were not fully vaccinated. And of the state’s 21 coronavirus deaths during that period, all were in people who were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated – the second consecutive week without deaths among those vaccinated.
Yet New Jersey’s 21 counties now have “high” or “substantial” transmission rates of COVID-19, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC recommends that people in all counties in the state wear masks indoors in public, regardless of their immunization status. New Jersey has not reinstalled an inner mask mandate statewide, although health officials have strongly recommended that people wear face covers in environments considered “high risk”
Murphy announced on Friday that the state would require masks in all schools at the start of the new school year. But on Monday, the governor said the state was “not yet” ready to re-impose masks in all public places in the state.
At least 8,071 of COVID-19 deaths in New Jersey have occurred among residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, state data shows.
As of Saturday, more than 206.53 million positive cases of COVID-19 were reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 4.35 million people dying from the virus. The United States has reported the most cases (over 36.6 million) and deaths (over 621,000) than any other country.
More than 4.6 billion doses of vaccines have been administered worldwide.
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Rodrigo Torrejon can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter @rodrigotorrejon.