New Jersey on Saturday reported another 3,162 confirmed COVID-19 cases and one new confirmed death, as U.S. regulators said they plan to forego authorizing a second booster shot for adults under 50 years old this summer. Instead, they will focus on revamping vaccines for the fall to target new viral subvariants.
Eighteen of the 21 counties in the state are now considered high risk for transmission, the CDC reported Saturday, up from only six in mid-July. Only Mercer, Cumberland and Salem counties remain in the medium-risk category. Residents in high-risk counties are recommended to wear masks indoors.
The state’s seven-day average for confirmed positive tests is 2,834, a 4% decrease in the past week but a 26% increase from a month ago.
There were 1,091 patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases reported across the state’s 71 hospitals as of Friday night. Of those hospitalized, 125 are in intensive care and 38 are on ventilators.
The statewide positivity rate for tests conducted Monday — the most recent day with available data — was 12.54%.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers positivity rates above 10% to be “high.” However, the positivity rate is substantially lower than its peak of 40.83% on Jan. 1 during the height of the omicron variant.
New Jersey’s rate of transmission was 1.01 on Saturday, according to the state Department of Health. When the transmission rate is 1, that means cases have leveled off at the current numbers. Anything above 1 means the outbreak is expanding.
A transmission rate below 1 is an indication that the coronavirus outbreak is declining, as each new case is leading to less than one additional new case.
New Jersey has reported 2.2 million total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the more than two years since the state reported its first known case March 4, 2020.
The Garden State has also recorded 382,426 positive antigen or rapid tests, which are considered probable cases. And there are numerous cases that have likely never been counted, including at-home positive tests that are not included in the state’s numbers.
The state of 9.2 million residents has reported 34,265 COVID-19 deaths — 31,171 confirmed fatalities and 3,094 probable ones.
New Jersey has the ninth-most coronavirus deaths per capita in the U.S. — behind Mississippi, Arizona, Oklahoma, Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee, New Mexico and Arkansas — as of Monday. Last summer, the state had the most deaths per capita in the nation.
More than 6.98 million people who work, live, or study in the Garden State have reached fully vaccinated status.
Over 7.88 million have received a first dose since vaccinations began in the state on Dec. 15, 2020.
More than 4.15 million people in the state eligible for boosters have received one. That number may rise after the Food and Drug Administration approved booster shots for healthy children between the ages of 5 and 11. U.S. regulators authorized the booster for kids, hoping an extra vaccine dose will enhance their protection as infections continue to spread.
LONG-TERM CARE NUMBERS
At least 9,439 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data as of Friday.
Of the active outbreaks at 385 facilities, there are 5,097 current cases among residents and 5,281 cases among staff, as of the latest data.
As of Saturday, there have been more than 576 million COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus database. More than 6.39 million people have died because of the virus, the data shows.
The U.S. has reported the most COVID-19 cases (more than 91.3 million) and deaths (at least 1.02 million) of any nation.
There have been more than 11.9 billion vaccine doses administered globally.
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Camille Furst may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.