New Jersey on Saturday reported another 2,372 confirmed positive COVID-19 tests and eight new confirmed deaths, as the state’s total death toll rose to more than 34,000.
The state’s seven-day average for confirmed cases fell to 2,075 on Saturday, down 6% from a week ago and 47% from a month ago.
The statewide positivity rate for tests performed last Sunday, the most recent day with data available, was 14.61%. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers positivity rates above 10% “high.”
The statewide transmission rate has hovered around 0.80 in recent days. A transmission rate of less than 1 indicates that the epidemic is in decline, because each new case results in less than one additional new case.
There were 723 patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases reported at the state’s 71 hospitals as of Friday evening. Hospitalizations remain significantly lower than they were when they peaked at 6,089 on January 10 during the omicron wave.
Among those hospitalized on Friday, 108 were in intensive care and 30 on ventilators. According to the latest state data, at least 157 people were released during the 24-hour period ending Friday.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now lists four counties in New Jersey with “high” transmission rates – Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth and Morris. People in high-risk areas are recommended to wear a mask indoors in public and on public transportation and to keep up to date with vaccinations, according to the CDC.
There are 13 counties in the medium risk category: Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset and Sussex. Masks are not recommended in medium and low risk areas.
Cumberland, Hunterdon, Union and Warren are classified as low risk.
New Jersey has reported 2,117,411 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the more than two years since the state reported its first known case on March 4, 2020.
The Garden State has also recorded about 356,546 positive cases. antigen or rapid tests, which are considered probable cases. And there are many cases that were likely never counted, including positive home tests that aren’t included in state numbers.
The state of 9.2 million has reported 34,002 deaths from COVID-19 – 30,915 confirmed and 3,087 probable.
New Jersey has the eighth highest number of coronavirus deaths per capita in the United States – behind Mississippi, Arizona, Oklahoma, Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas – according to the latest data released on Monday. Last summer, the state recorded the most deaths per capita in the country.
The latest figures follow a major study which found that even a mild case of COVID-19 can significantly affect the brain. Long COVID – the term commonly used to describe symptoms resulting from the virus long after a person no longer tests positive – has been found to affect between 10% and 30% of those who contract the infection, whether they have a mild or severe case.
In New Jersey, that would mean about 600,000 of the more than 2 million who have tested positive for COVID since the pandemic began have or have had long COVID.
More than 6.94 million people who live, work or study in New Jersey have received the first round of vaccinations and more than 7.8 million have received a first dose since vaccinations began here on December 15, 2020.
More than 3.98 million people in the state eligible for boosters have received one. That number could rise after the FDA approved booster shots for healthy children ages 5 to 11. US regulators have authorized the booster for children hoping an extra dose of vaccine will boost their protection as infections continue to spread.
LONG TERM CARE NUMBERS
At least 9,215 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have occurred among residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data.
There have been active outbreaks at 353 facilities, resulting in 4,492 current cases among residents and 4,244 cases among staff, according to the latest data.
As this weekend approaches, more than 543 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, and more than 6.3 million people have died from the virus.
The United States has reported the most cases (more than 86.9 million) and deaths (at least 1,015,798) of any country.
More than 11.6 billion doses of vaccine have been administered worldwide.
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Brianna Kudisch can be contacted at [email protected].