New Jersey reported 3,998 new coronavirus cases and 15 more deaths on Sunday, while hospitalizations rose for the 23rd day in a row as the pandemic continues to engulf the state days before Thanksgiving gatherings.
“As the holidays approach, protect yourself and your loved ones. Wear a mask. Social distance. Avoid large gatherings, ” Governor Phil Murphy said on Twitter by announcing the daily numbers.
The update comes as COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to rise in the United States and queues at testing sites have increased dramatically.
Murphy did not declare new restrictions on Sunday to tackle the second wave of the pandemic, but will host his regular coronavirus briefing on Monday in Trenton. However, the governor signed an executive order extending the public health emergency that was first declared on March 9. This is the ninth time that the emergency order has been renewed.
Last week, Murphy warned that the deluge of cases and deaths will “unequivocally worsen” over the coming months as more people stay indoors due to the colder weather and congregate for the holidays. The growing number of cases reflects the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 – the last major global epidemic to hit the United States – which also arrived in the spring before making a vengeance reappearance in the fall.
New Jersey has now announced a total of 306,007 positive tests out of more than 5.6 million administered since the outbreak began in March.
The state of 9 million has reported 16,761 coronavirus deaths, including 14,949 confirmed deaths and 1,812 considered probable.
There were 2,568 patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases at 71 New Jersey hospitals on Saturday night. This is much less than the 8,000 hospitalized in April, but the most since May 28. Hospitalizations have tripled in the past month.
Authorities continue to urge residents to wear masks, practice social distancing, wash their hands and keep gatherings as low as possible this holiday season. Family and social events have become major propagators of the virus since the dawn of autumn.
However, hope is on the horizon as officials announced on Friday that New Jersey could receive up to 160,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine by Christmas if the company obtains approval for its use. federal government emergency.
And if Moderna’s vaccine follows a similar path, that could mean a total of 460,000 doses of vaccine in the state by early January, while a larger rollout to the general population could take place by April or May. .
Yet the key figures used by health officials to track the pandemic continue to move in the wrong direction.
Of the 2,568 hospitalized patients, 466 were in intensive or critical care and 237 were on fans. Despite 297 discharges on Saturday, it was the 23rd day of increased hospital admissions.
The state averages about 45,000 tests per day this month, and that number does not include recently deployed rapid tests. Murphy reminded residents that more than 400 testing sites are available statewide.
The latest statewide transmission rate fell to 1.35. Any number greater than 1 means the epidemic continues to expand. New Jersey has been above this mark since early September.
Thirteen of the 21 counties reported at least 100 new cases on Sunday, led by the counties of Bergen (403), Hudson (360) and Essex (340).
The state has not announced the date of the 15 newly reported deaths.
To combat the spread, Murphy ordered New Jersey’s indoor bars and restaurants to close daily at 10 p.m. and canceled interstate indoor sports up to the high school level. Indoor gatherings are now limited to 10 people, down from 25, and from Monday, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 150, down from 500.
So far, Murphy has stopped before ordering another statewide lockdown like he did in the spring, but stressed he was considering all options as cases mounted sharply.
COUNTY-BY-COUNTY NUMBERS (sorted by most recent)
- Bergen County: 31,851 positive tests (403 new), 1,855 confirmed deaths (246 probable)
- Hudson County: 29,116 positive tests (360 new), 1,399 confirmed deaths (158 probable)
- Essex County: 32,778 positive tests (340 new), 1,972 confirmed deaths (230 probable)
- Camden County: 16,862 positive tests (325 new), 608 confirmed deaths (56 probable)
- Middlesex County: 27,987 positive tests (315 new), 1,273 confirmed deaths (203 probable)
- Burlington County: 11,996 positive tests (299 new), 491 confirmed deaths (41 probable)
- Monmouth County: 18,624 positive tests (288 new), 796 confirmed deaths (92 probable)
- Union County: 26,043 positive tests (280 new), 1,249 confirmed deaths (171 probable)
- Passaic County: 27,065 positive tests (262 new), 1,155 confirmed deaths (144 probable)
- Ocean County: 20,087 positive tests (207 new), 1,031 confirmed deaths (67 probable)
- Mercer County: 12,450 positive tests (194 new), 615 confirmed deaths (36 probable)
- Morris County: 12,252 positive tests (165 new), 707 confirmed deaths (147 probable)
- Gloucester County: 8,066 positive tests (117 new), 259 confirmed deaths (7 probable)
- Atlantic County: 7,257 positive tests (96 new), 265 confirmed deaths (13 probable)
- Somerset County: 8,333 positive tests (81 new), 532 confirmed deaths (75 probable)
- Hunterdon County: 2,236 positive tests (52 new), 76 confirmed deaths (54 probable)
- Warren County: 2,259 positive tests (43 new), 160 confirmed deaths (13 probable)
- Cumberland County: 4,733 positive tests (42 new), 162 confirmed deaths (8 probable)
- Sussex County: 2,315 positive tests (41 new), 162 confirmed deaths (36 probable)
- Salem County: 1,476 positive tests (20 new), 86 confirmed deaths (5 probable)
- Cape May County: 1,524 positive tests (9 new), 96 confirmed deaths (10 probable)
There were 2,568 patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 at 71 New Jersey hospitals on Saturday night. That’s 16 more than the day before.
Of these, 466 were in critical or intensive care (14 more than the day before), including 237 on ventilators (four more).
There were 313 coronavirus patients admitted and 297 discharged on Saturday, according to the state’s online dashboard.
New Jersey’s 71 acute care hospitals are two-thirds full, according to the New Jersey Hospital Association. Patients tend to be younger in age, reducing hospital stays, and hospitals have become more efficient at treating the virus.
New Jersey’s latest transmission rate of 1.35 is down from the 1.38 reported on Saturday.
A transmission rate of 1.35 means that every 100 people infected will transmit the virus to 135 others on average. Any number greater than 1 means that each newly infected person, on average, transmits the virus to at least one other person.
But 135 is well below the over 5 rate recorded at the end of March, as the extent of the outbreak was still being developed and testing was scarce.
Although hundreds of school districts have reported cases of the coronavirus and dozens of New Jersey schools have temporarily closed since the start of the school year, public health officials said 56 schools have confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks.
The state scorecard shows 239 cases in those 56 schools, but those numbers only include confirmed transmissions to the school. Students or staff suspected of having been infected outside of school, or cases that cannot be confirmed as outbreaks at school, are not included.
Murphy resisted the order to close schools statewide, saying those numbers were better than expected.
Disaggregated by age, 30-49 year olds represent the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have contracted the virus (31.6%), followed by 50-64 year olds (24.6%), 18-29 (18, 5%), 65 -79 (11.7%), 80 years and over (7.0%), 5-17 (5.4%) and 0-4 (1.1%).
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 older (47.1%), followed by those aged 65 to 79 (32.2%), from 50 to 64 years (16%), 30 to 49 years (4.3%), 18 to 29 years. (0.4%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).
At least 7,274 COVID-19 deaths in the state have occurred among residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. This number has also increased at a faster rate in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, at least 17,500 more people in New Jersey have died this year than expected, according to state mortality data, which suggests the pandemic has claimed even more lives than the state total. , according to an ongoing analysis by NJ Advance Media.
As of Sunday morning, there had been more than 58.3 million positive COVID-19 tests worldwide, according to an ongoing count from Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.38 million people have died from complications from the coronavirus.
The United States has the most positive tests in the world, with 12.1 million, and the most deaths, with more than 255,000.
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Jeff Roberts can be reached at [email protected]