On Saturday, New Jersey reported 4,679 coronavirus cases and 34 additional deaths, while hospitalization cases soared for the 22nd consecutive day as the second wave of the pandemic continued to sweep the state.
The day after Mayor of Newark announced that the state’s largest city would require residents to stay home for 10 days beginning the day before Thanksgiving, Governor Phil Murphy did not announce new restrictions Saturday to combat the second wave.
But Murphy, echoing the predictions of federal infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned that the next few months will be tough. The governor said the numbers will get “unequivocally worse” as more people head indoors due to the colder weather, although New Jersey has significantly increased testing.
Officials continued to urge residents to wear masks, practice social distancing, wash hands, and keep the series of upcoming holiday celebrations small.
“The numbers speak for themselves. Please take this seriously. Wear a mask. Social distancing. Avoid large gatherings.” Murphy said on Twitter.
On a bright note, officials also announced Friday that New Jersey may receive up to 160,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for the Coronavirus by Christmas if the company wins emergency use approval from the federal government.
If Moderna takes a similar path, that could mean a total of 460,000 vaccine doses in the state by early January, while the vaccine may be rolled out more broadly to the entire population by April or May.
New Jersey has now announced 302,039 positive tests out of more than 5.5 million tests taken since the outbreak began in March.
The country of 9 million reported 16,746 coronavirus deaths at the time, including 14,934 confirmed deaths and 1,812 probable cases.
After Friday was the first time in four days New Jersey reported fewer than 4,000 new cases, cases are back beyond the benchmark on Saturday.
The statewide seven-day average for new positive tests rose to 3,933 – up 23% from last week and 278% on the month.
The average cases for seven days are now higher than the first wave of the pandemic, although the comparison is tricky because the country was running fewer than 12,000 tests per day at that time and the outbreak is likely underestimated.
The state averages about 45,000 tests per day this month, and that number does not include the recently published express tests.
Murphy reminds Residents that more than 400 test sites are available across the state.
However, the key numbers that health officials use to track an outbreak continue in the wrong direction.
There were 2,552 patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases at 71 hospitals in New Jersey as of Friday night. This is significantly less than the 8,000 hospitalized in April but the largest number since May 28. The number of hospitalizations has nearly tripled in the past month.
Of the 2,552 patients, 486 were in intensive or critical care and 232 were on ventilators. Although 305 cases were discharged from the clinics on Friday, that was the 22nd day of increases.
The positive rate for tests taken Tuesday, the last available day, was 8.66%. The rate throughout the past week has remained above 8%, down from less than 4% during the summer.
The most recent statewide transmission rate has decreased to 1.38. Any number higher than 1 means the outbreak continues to expand. New Jersey has been above this since early September.
14 of 21 counties reported at least 100 new cases on Saturday led by Essex County (536), Camden (435) and Bergen (427).
The state has not announced the date of the 34 newly reported deaths.
The update comes with an increase in coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations in the United States, and waiting times and long queues at test sites increased dramatically.
Murphy previously said that New Jersey numbers are increasing because people feel overwhelmed by observing virus restrictions such as wearing masks and congregating more indoors as the weather cools, especially inside private homes.
To fight the spread, Murphy ordered indoor bars and restaurants in New Jersey to close at 10 p.m. daily and canceled interstate indoor sports up to high school level. Indoor gatherings are now limited to 10 people, down from 25, and starting Monday, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 150 people, down from 500.
Murphy halted another statewide shutdown request as he did in the spring, but stressed that all options remained on the table.
COUNTY-BY-COUNTY NUMBERS (Sorted by Most New)
- Essex County: 32,441 positive tests (536 new), 1,968 confirmed deaths (possible 230)
- Camden County: 16,540 positive tests (435 new), 608 confirmed deaths (56 probable)
- Bergen County: 31,447 positive tests (427 new), 1,855 confirmed deaths (246 probable)
- Pasik County: 26,806 positive tests (404 new), 1,155 confirmed deaths (144 probable)
- Hudson County: 28,764 positive tests (393 new), 1,399 confirmed deaths (158 possible)
- Monmouth County: 18,335 positive tests (332 new), 795 confirmed deaths (92 probable)
- Union County: 25,763 positive tests (288 new), 1,246 confirmed deaths (171 probable)
- Burlington County: 11,699 positive tests (284 new), 490 confirmed deaths (41 probable)
- Middlesex County: 27,671 positive tests (260 new), 1,271 confirmed deaths (203 potential)
- Gloucester County: 7,947 positive tests (235 new), 258 confirmed deaths (7 probable)
- Ocean County: 19,880 tests positive (233 new), 1,029 confirmed deaths (67 probable)
- Morris County: 12,085 positive tests (202 new), 707 confirmed deaths (147 probable)
- Mercer County: 12,257 positive tests (166 new), 615 confirmed deaths (36 probable)
- Atlantic County: 7,162 positive tests (137 new), 265 confirmed deaths (13 probable)
- Somerset County: 8,251 positive tests (99 new), 532 confirmed deaths (75 probable)
- Cumberland County: 4,689 tests positive (54 new), 162 confirmed deaths (8 probable)
- Sussex: 2,278 tests positive (34 new), 162 confirmed deaths (36 probable)
- Warren County: 2,215 positive tests (34 new), 160 confirmed deaths (13 probable)
- Hunterdon County: 2,186 tests positive (31 new), 76 confirmed deaths (54 probable)
- Cape May Province: 1,516 positive tests (22 new), 95 confirmed deaths (10 probable)
- Salem County: 1,457 positive tests (17 new), 86 confirmed deaths (5 probable)
There were 2,505 patients with (2,272) or suspected (233) COVID-19 cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Wednesday night. That’s 34 more than the night before.
Of these, 452 were in critical or intensive care (four fewer than the night before), including 233 on ventilators (17 more).
333 coronavirus patients were admitted and 290 were discharged on Monday, according to the state’s online dashboard.
New Jersey’s 71 acute care hospital is currently filled with two-thirds, according to the New Jersey Hospital Association. Patients tend to be younger, making hospital stays shorter, and hospitals becoming better at treating the virus.
The latest NJ transmission rate is 1.38, down from the 1.40 mentioned on Friday.
This is much lower than when the rate was above 5 at the end of March as the extent of the outbreak was still a focus and testing was scarce.
But any number higher than 1 means that every newly infected person, on average, spreads the virus to at least one other person. Any number less than 1 means that the outbreak is decreasing.
The transmission rate of 1.38 means that every 100 infected people will spread the virus to 138 others.
Although hundreds of school districts have reported cases of coronavirus and dozens of New Jersey schools have been temporarily closed since the start of the school year, state health officials said 56 schools have confirmed the COVID-19 outbreak.
The state dashboard shows 239 cases in those 56 schools, but those numbers only include confirmed submissions within the school. Students or staff who are believed to have contracted the infection outside of school, or cases that cannot be confirmed as an outbreak within the school are not included.
Murphy resisted issuing orders to close schools statewide, saying those numbers were better than expected.
Split the age
By age, those between the ages of 30 and 49 make up the largest proportion of New Jersey residents who have contracted the virus (31.6%), followed by 50-64 (24.6%), 18-29 (18.5%), 65 -79 (11.7%). , 80 and over (7.0%), 5-17 (5.4%), 0-4 (1.1%).
On average, the virus was deadlier in older residents, especially those with pre-existing cases. Almost half of the COVID-19 deaths in the state were among the population 80 years and over (47.1%), followed by 65-79 (32.2%), 50-64 (16%), 30-49 (4.3%), 18-29 (0.4%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).
There have been at least 7,274 deaths from COVID-19 in the state among residents and staff in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. This number has also been rising at a steep rate in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, at least 17,500 more people have died in New Jersey this year than expected, according to government death data, indicating that the pandemic has claimed more lives than the state’s total, according to an ongoing analysis by NJ Advance Media.
As of Saturday morning, there were more than 57.7 million positive tests for COVID-19 worldwide, according to an ongoing tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.37 million people have died from complications related to the Coronavirus.
The United States has the most positive tests in the world, with more than 11.9 million, and the largest number of deaths, with more than 254,473.
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