New Jersey reported 2,200 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 17 more confirmed deaths on Saturday, as hospitalizations continued to decline and the transmission rate declined slightly.
The state has recorded a total of 27,323 deaths from the virus in more than 17 months – 24,550 confirmed and 2,773 considered probable, according to the Department of Health’s dashboard. Probable deaths, which are reviewed weekly, increased by seven deaths on Monday.
The transmission rate across the state of New Jersey jumped to 1.04 on Saturday after staying at 1.05 for two days. Any transmission rate greater than 1 indicates that each new case results in more than one additional case and shows that the state’s epidemic is spreading.
As of Friday evening, 1,068 people were hospitalized, according to state data. That’s down from 40 patients the night before. The number has also stabilized over the past month. There were 122 patients discharged in the 24 hours leading up to Friday evening.
Among those hospitalized, 236 were in intensive care (13 fewer than the day before), including 129 on ventilators (three fewer).
The delta variant continues to dominate cases here, with nearly all cases sampled in the four weeks ending September 4. For the last week of this period, 100% of the sampled tests showed the delta variant.
School districts across the state have reported 23 school outbreaks for a total of 102 cases, according to the state’s dashboard. School outbreaks are defined as three or more cases that are determined by contact tracing to have been transmitted between staff or students at school.
The positivity rate for tests carried out on Monday, the last available day, was 4.37%. The positivity rate on weekends tends to be higher when fewer tests are done.
More than 5.8 million people who live, work or study in New Jersey were fully vaccinated on Saturday. More than 6.37 million people have received at least one dose.
Those aged 65 and over, or residing in a long-term care facility, are now eligible for a Pfizer COVID recall, as well as those between the ages of 50 and 64 with underlying health issues. The Department of Health said Friday evening that eligible people can sign up for the vaccine immediately, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the recommendation.
The Health Department said the vaccines are only available to people who received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine six months ago and who fall into certain categories.
All of New Jersey’s 21 counties continue to be listed as having “high” rates of coronavirus transmission, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends that people in 21 counties wear masks for indoor public places, regardless of the state’s immunization rates.
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New Jersey has the second highest number of coronavirus deaths per capita in the United States. The state has long been at the top of the list of most COVID-19 deaths per capita, but has recently been eclipsed by Mississippi.
At least 8,528 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 currently active outbreaks in 153 facilities, resulting in 660 current cases among residents and 526 among staff.
In total, the state of 9.2 million people has reported a total of 996,378 confirmed cases out of the more than 15.3 million PCR tests done since its first case was announced on March 4, 2020. The state also reported 149,711 positive antigen tests, which are considered probable cases.
As of Saturday, more than 231.2 million positive cases of COVID-19 were reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 4.73 million people dying from the virus. The United States has reported the most cases (over 42.8 million) and deaths (over 687,000) than any other country.
More than 6 billion doses of vaccines have been administered worldwide.
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Rodrigo Torrejon can be contacted at [email protected].