New Jersey on Saturday reported another 1,455 coronavirus cases and an additional 36 deaths, as the state surpassed crucial benchmarks of more than 7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered and more than 3 million people fully vaccinated.
As of Saturday afternoon, 7,056,881 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered across the Garden State, according to state data.
There were 3,054,030 people fully vaccinated in New Jersey as of Saturday afternoon roughly 44% of the states 6.9 million adults. The states goal is to have 70% of the states eligible population about 4.7 million people vaccinated by the end of June.
Slightly more than 4.2 million people about 61% of adults have received at least one vaccine dose. State officials have expressed confidence about reaching the 70% goal but have said they will need to be proactive about encouraging people to get their shots because demand has started to subside.
The day after the statewide rate of transmission plummeted to its lowest point in nearly a year, Gov. Phil Murphy posted the latest update on Twitter. On Saturday, the statewide rate of transmission dropped even further to 0.54, the lowest statewide rate of transmission in a year, when it was at 0.60 last May.
Statewide hospitalizations stayed below 1,600, after dropping below the mark for the first time since November on Thursday night.
As the numbers continue to trend positively, Murphy previously hinted he will have more information Monday on further easing restrictions and ramping up vaccinations. Murphy made the comments hours before he received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Atlantic City.
The statewide transmission rate fell to 0.54, down from 0.63 a day earlier. Thats the lowest point since the state was still in lockdown mode during the pandemics first wave. The rate hit a low of 0.60 last May, according to the state Department of Health.
Any number under 1 indicates the outbreak is slowing and each new case is leading to less than one additional case.
New Jersey announced Thursday that all six of its coronavirus vaccine mega-sites will offer walk-in vaccinations without an appointment from now on.
There were 1,582 coronavirus patients hospitalized across New Jerseys 71 hospitals as of Friday night. Thats the lowest number since Nov. 8.
The latest statewide positivity rate for tests conducted on Tuesday, the most recent day available, was 5.07%.
New Jersey has now reported 874,256 confirmed coronavirus cases out of more than 13.5 million PCR tests in the nearly 14 months since the state reported its first case March 4, 2020.
There have also been 124,556 positive antigen tests during the outbreak. Those cases are considered probable, and health officials have warned that positive antigen tests could overlap with the confirmed PCR tests because they are sometimes given in tandem.
The state of 9.2 million people has reported 25,588 residents have died from complications related to COVID-19 including 22,963 confirmed deaths and 2,625 fatalities considered probable.
New Jersey has the most coronavirus deaths per capita among American states.
On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all of the city will fully reopen from COVID-19 restrictions by July 1. And on Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said dining in the city can increase to 75% on May 7, the same level as the rest of the state.
Murphy has so far resisted releasing a broad timeline for New Jersey and has announced incremental steps instead. He announced Monday that outdoor gathering limits in the state will increase from 200 to 500 people starting on May 10, in time for college and high school graduations. Plus, private catered events such as weddings and proms will go from 35% to 50% of a venues capacity with a maximum of 250 people, up from 150.
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There were 1,582 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases as of Friday night 16 more than the previous night, according to state data.
That included 326 in critical or intensive care (22 fewer), with 207 on ventilators (17 fewer).
There were 218 COVID-19 patients discharged Friday
By comparison, hospitalizations peaked at more than 8,300 patients during the first wave of the pandemic in April and more than 3,800 during the second wave in December.
New Jersey has reported 263 in-school coronavirus outbreaks, which have resulted in 1,157 cases among students, teachers and school staff this academic year, according to state data.
The state defines school outbreaks as cases where contact tracers determined two or more students or school staff caught or transmitted COVID-19 in the classroom or during academic activities at school. Those numbers do not include students or staff believed to have been infected outside school or cases that cant be confirmed as in-school outbreaks.
There are about 1.4 million public school students and teachers across the state, though teaching methods amid the outbreak have varied, with some schools teaching in-person, some using a hybrid format and others remaining all-remote.
Murphy has said New Jerseys schools are expected to return to full in-person classes for the next school year.
Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (30.9%), followed by those 50-64 (22.5%), 18-29 (19.9%), 65-79 (10.1%), 5-17 (9.9%), 80 and older (4.4%) and 0-4 (2%).
On average, the virus has been more deadly for older residents, especially those with preexisting conditions. Nearly half the states COVID-19 deaths have been among residents 80 and older (45.9%), followed by those 65-79 (33.6%), 50-64 (16.1%), 30-49 (4%), 18-29 (0.4%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0%).
At least 8,027 of the states COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data.
There are active outbreaks at 220 facilities, resulting in 2,436 active cases among residents and 3,275 among staffers. Those numbers have slowed as vaccinations continue at the facilities.
As of early Saturday afternoon, there have been more than 151 million positive COVID-19 tests across the globe, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 3.18 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.
The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 32.3 million, and the most deaths, at more than 576,400.
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Rodrigo Torrejon may be reached at email@example.com.
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