New Jersey on Wednesday reported another 2,627 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 17 new confirmed deaths as daily cases and deaths remain high.
Eighteen of the state’s 21 counties are now considered high risk for transmission, the CDC reported Wednesday, up from only six in mid-July. Only Mercer, Cumberland and Salem counties remain in the medium-risk category. The CDC recommends that residents in high-risk counties wear masks indoors.
The state’s seven-day average for confirmed positive tests is 2,689, a 7% decrease in the past week, but an 12% increase from a month ago.
New Jersey’s rate of transmission was 1 on Wednesday, 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.
There were 1,070 patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases reported across 70 of the state’s 71 hospitals as of Wednesday. Of those hospitalized, 108 are in intensive care and 34 are on ventilators.
The statewide positivity rate for tests conducted Friday — the most recent day with available data — was 13.01%.
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 has reported 2.22 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 384,824 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 34,307 COVID-19 deaths — 31,211 confirmed fatalities and 3,096 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 July 25. Last summer, the state had the most deaths per capita in the nation.
More than 6.99 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 4.17 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.
Regulators have paused plans to authorize a second booster shot for adults under 50 this summer. Instead, they hope to revamp vaccines to target emerging subvariants by the fall.
LONG-TERM CARE NUMBERS
At least 9,460 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 Wednesday.
Of the active outbreaks at 393 facilities, there are 5,235 current cases among residents and 5,604 cases among staff, as of the latest data.
As of Wednesday, there have been more than 579 million COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus database.
More than 6.4 million people have died because of the virus, the data shows.
The U.S. has reported the most COVID-19 cases (more than 91.6 million) and deaths (at least 1.03 million) of any nation.
There have been more than 11.9 billion vaccine doses administered globally.
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Nicolas Fernandes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.