State officials have begun to offer a truer picture of how many cases of the coronavirus are in New Jersey.
Starting Jan. 4, the state’s is publishing cumulative and daily cases they are terming “probable cases” from rapid test results on its COVID-19 dashboard. “Confirmed cases” are individuals with a positive PCR test for COVID-19, while the new “probable cases” category are individuals with a positive antigen test for COVID-19 and no positive, confirmatory PCR test.
On its first day the state reported the new data, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 494,317 with 2,292 total new cases reported. There were 822 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total to 50,838. The total number of individual cases for the state is 545,155.
As for those that have passed, the state reported 38 new deaths, bringing that total to 17,223. The state listed probable deaths at 2,021, bringing the overall total to 19,244. State officials noted 60 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties, Bergen had a total of 199 new confirmed cases and 47 probable cases, Hudson 535 new cases and 45 probable cases, Essex 163 new cases and 39 probable cases, Passaic 117 new cases and and 38 probable cases, Morris 117 new cases and and 47 probable cases, Sussex 47 new cases and 10 probable cases, and Warren 22 cases and six probable cases.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,154, followed by Bergen at 2,079, Hudson with 1,546, Passaic at 1,306, Morris at 787, Sussex at 173 and Warren County at 170.
In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 263, Essex has 250, Hudson has 168, Morris at 178, Passaic at 157, Sussex has 43 and Warren has 13.
The daily rate of infections from those tested as of Dec. 31 was 11.2%; by region, the rate was 9.7% in the North, 11.7% in the Central region and 14.5% in the South. The state is no longer using serology tests as health officials explained those results show a past presence of the disease as well as a current one.
As for the rate of transmission, it remained unchanged from the day before at 0.92. Officials have continually cited transmission rate and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
Officials reported 3,633 patients were hospitalized, with 3,438 confirmed cases and 195 under investigation. By region, there were 1,506 in the North, 1,210 in the Central and 917 in the South.
Of those hospitalized, 664 are in intensive care units and 476 on ventilators. While 295 patients were discharged, 395 were admitted.
Essex Tops County Count
Essex has the most confirmed cumulative cases in the state with 48,518, followed by Bergen at 48,486, Middlesex at 46,558, Hudson at 45,384, Passaic at 40,747, Union at 37,376, Ocean at 33,958, Monmouth at 33,326, Camden at 29,615, Burlington at 22,099, Morris at 21,001, Mercer at 19,284, Gloucester at 14,690, Somerset at 13,075, Atlantic at 12,754, Cumberland at 8,148, Sussex at 4,767, Warren at 4,101, Hunterdon at 3,914, Salem at 2,906, and Cape May at 2,477.
In regards to probable cases, Union had the most at 4,964, followed by Bergen at 4,702, Essex at 3,796, Ocean at 3,497, Hudson at 3,437, Morris at 3,294, Atlantic at 3,028, Passaic at 3,002, Middlesex at 2,984, Monmouth at 2,802, Somerset at 2,632, Camden at 2,577, Cape May at 2,233, Burlington at 2,028, Gloucester at 1,816, Cumberland at 1,433, Mercer at 930, Sussex at 553, Warren at 387, Hunterdon at 370 and Salem 323.
Another 1,133 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 105 outbreaks involving 546 cases have been reported in 20 of the 21 counties in the Garden State, with three new outbreaks involving 87 cases recorded in the last week. For North Jersey, Bergen County has 21 confirmed outbreaks with 99 cases, Passaic County has five confirmed outbreaks with 25 cases, Warren and Sussex counties both having four confirmed outbreaks with nine cases, Hudson County has two confirmed outbreaks with 10 cases and Essex County with one confirmed outbreak with 83 cases. Morris is the only county in the state without an outbreak.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 428 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 12,408 of the cases, broken down between 5,962 residents and 6,446 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,165 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 30,162 residents and 19,321 staff, for a total of 49,483 cases.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 7,547 on Jan. 4. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,354 residents deaths and 124 staff deaths.