New Jersey reported an additional 1,001 COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths on Tuesday as the state’s death toll from the pandemic peaked at 28,000 residents
Garden State has now reported 28,004 total coronavirus deaths in the nearly 20 months since the onset of the outbreak here, according to the state dashboard. It includes 25,188 confirmed and 2,816 considered probable deaths.
The state’s probable deaths, which are reviewed weekly, rose Monday by two deaths.
New Jersey has the third most coronavirus deaths per year. per capita in the United States, after Mississippi and Alabama.
New Jersey has reported 1,043,940 total confirmed COVID-19 cases out of the more than 15.9 million PCR tests performed since it announced its first case on March 4, 2020. The state has also reported 157,013 positive antigens or rapid tests, which are considered likely cases.
Despite the milestone, the state has seen its coronavirus numbers improve recently. Its seven-day average for confirmed positive tests fell to 1,099 on Tuesday, down 5% from a week ago and 33% from a month ago. This is the lowest seven-day average since August 5th.
The state-wide transmission rate rose again to 0.99 from 0.96 on Monday and 0.93 on Sunday. The rate is now just below the main benchmark of 1, indicating that the spread of COVID-19 is declining. Any transmission rate below 1 indicates that each infected person transmits the virus to less than one other person and the outbreak no longer expands.
There were 700 people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Sunday night, 13 fewer than the previous night.
There were 63 patients discharged within 24 hours up to Sunday evening. Of the inpatients, 170 were on intensive care (one more than the night before), of which 92 were on respirator (same as the day before).
The state-wide positivity rate for tests performed on Thursday, the last available day, was 3.61%.
The Delta variant of the virus, which is more contagious than previous variants, now represents 100% of all cases circulating, State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said.
While New Jersey numbers have steadily improved in recent weeks, officials have warned that the weather is getting colder and the holiday season is approaching. It is likely to force more people to gather indoors and could cause another bump in the numbers.
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More than 6.07 million people living, working or studying in New Jersey – a state with about 9.2 million inhabitants – have now been fully vaccinated. Governor Phil Murphy has said that more than 75% of those eligible in the state have been fully vaccinated.
More than 7.13 million people in the state have received at least one dose, and about 593,000 people have received third doses or boosters.
The state is preparing the expected final approval of the Pfizer vaccine – possibly as early as this week – for children between 5 and 11. The Federal Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the shot for children of that age, but approval from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention is still required.
New Jersey has 760,000 children in that age group, and the state has ordered 203,800 doses of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine, which is one-third of the dose for those 12 and older. There will be 230 locations representing all 21 counties scheduled to receive the pediatric doses. The sites include pediatricians, hospitals, pharmacies and other health facilities.
Murphy also updated the state’s breakthrough rate on Monday. There have been a total of 42,358 cases among fully vaccinated people, leading to 911 hospitalizations and 241 deaths, although they represent a small percentage of the total number of cases.
From October 11 to 17, the state had 11,450 positive tests. Of those, 2,199 were from fully vaccinated individuals, and these cases led to 24 admissions (out of a total of 725) and two deaths (out of a total of 123).
Thirteen of New Jersey’s 21 counties are listed as having “high” rates of coronavirus transmission, while eight are listed with “significant” transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends that all people in counties with high and significant transmission wear masks for indoor public environments, regardless of vaccination status.
During the first weeks of the school year, districts in New Jersey have reported at least 137 outbreaks in school, for a total of 715 cases last week. That is an increase of 11 outbreaks from the previous week, although officials say the numbers have been within reasonable limits.
The state reported 30 new outbreaks the previous week. Every county except Burlington and Warren has reported at least one school outbreak. The total of 715 cases are cumulative and do not reflect active cases.
Outbreaks at school are defined as three or more cases that are determined by contact tracing to have been transmitted among staff or students while they were at school. They do not include aggregate cases among staff and students.
At least 8,639 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and employees in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data. There are active outbreaks at 142 facilities, resulting in 705 current cases among residents and 622 among employees.
As of Tuesday, there have been more than 242 million positive COVID-19 cases reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, where more than 5 million people have died from the virus. The United States has reported the most cases (more than 46 million) and deaths (more than 747,200) of any nation.
More than 7.1 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally.
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Brent Johnson can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ johnsb01.