While state officials continue to target those unvaccianted because they believe it is the best way to fight the coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy stressed he does not want this to become yet another divisive issue in the U.S.
“I just hope it doesn’t come to us versus them. We’ve had enough of that in this country of late,” said Murphy at a press briefing July 7. “This needs to be about all of us finding common ground, getting there together.”
Murphy observed that while the U.S. is turning into two different countries at the moment when it comes to the vaccination levels coronavirus, it is less of an issue in the Garden State due to vaccination rates being over 70%.
Outreach Efforts Ongoing
“We have every reason and confidence to believe that these vaccines work especially against severe illness and death,” stated Murphy.
The state continues to attempt to reach the approximately two million adults who remain unvaccinated. Murphy noted the efforts of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli and her department’s community core who are going door-to-door to organize those yet to receive the vaccine and the information they are gaining from those visits.
“I don’t think there’s any one factor in the conversations at the door…it’s a combination of someone might just not know the facts,” commented Murphy. “They might be homebound, they might have two or three jobs, they might not know legitimately, where the local location is, they may think their immigration status is going to be held against them, they may think it costs money. At least the feedback I’ve gotten, it’s for a whole range of reasons.”
Issues New Jersey residents who have yet to receive the vaccine site included answering some basic questions noted above to some myth breaking such as the impact if you’re a childbearing age woman, will it impact your ability to have a child.
Persichilli said the department’s county ambassadors are working with local officials and community leaders and “together, they are making a difference in areas where we are focused on raising vaccination rates.”
The commissioner noted in the past four weeks, vaccination rates have risen 19% in Ewing, 15% in Perth Amboy, and 11% in Passaic. She credited the increase to a combination of door-to-door outreach, pop up vaccination sites, and elected officials who are actively engaged.
The ambassadors have reported a majority of the reasons residents have provided for not receiving the vaccine are social service issues, according to Persichilli.
“Can’t get off from work, are there other appointments later at night, or on a Sunday afternoon? And then, a lot of it is transportation,” stated the commissioner. “We’re finding out an awful lot about people when we knock on their doors, and we get weekly reports on every single door that’s been knocked on, and what the findings are…a lot of it is social service issues.”
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 10,078,605 in-state, plus an additional 352,743 administered out-of-state for a grand total of 10,431,348 as of July 8. Of those who have received the vaccine, 4,926,115 received their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose in state and another 151,895 out of state, bringing those fully vaccinated to 5,078,010.
Demographically, 53% of those vaccinated are women and 47% men. As for ethnicity, 49% are White, 15% Hispanic, 11% Asian, 7% Black, 9% other and 9% unknown. In regards to the age of those having received the vaccine, 25% are 65 years old or olders, 27% are between the ages of 50-64, 29% are between the ages of 30-49, and 19% are between the ages of 12-29.
In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 1,148,574 doses (564,645 fully vaccinated), Essex 846,179 doses (409,713), Hudson 774,304 doses (370,858), Morris 633,865 doses (309,634), Passaic 523,398 doses (253,861), Sussex 147,721 doses (73,130), and Warren 95,166 doses (46,835).
As of July 8, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 894,488 with 264 total new PCR cases reported. There were 112 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 130,591. The total number of individual cases for the state is 1,025,079.
As for those that have passed, the state reported four confirmed deaths, bringing that total to 23,784. The state listed probable deaths at 2,709, bringing the overall total to 26,493. State officials noted three deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties on July 8, Bergen had a total of 22 new confirmed cases and 15 new probable cases, Essex 28 new cases and six new probable case, Hudson 22 new cases and 10 new probable cases, Morris eight new confirmed cases and five new probable cases, Passaic 18 new cases and four new probable cases, Sussex one new case and no new probable cases, and Warren had three new cases and one new probable case.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,723, followed by Bergen at 2,590, Hudson with 2,088, Passaic at 1,738, Morris at 980, Sussex at 239, and Warren County at 212.
In regards to probable deaths reported July 7, Essex has 302, Bergen has 302, Morris has 261, Hudson has 218, Passaic has 201, Sussex has 68 and Warren has 26.
As for the rate of transmission reported July 8, it remained unchanged from the day before at 0.92. The daily rate of infections from those tested July 4 was 2.2%; by region, the rate was 1.5% in the North, 3.4% in the Central region and 2.2% in the South.
Officials reported 312 patients were hospitalized; by region, there were 142 in the North, 95 in the Central and 75 in the South. Of those hospitalized, 54 are in intensive care units and 22 on ventilators. A total of 46 patients were discharged.
Officials have continually cited transmission rate, hospitalizations, intensive care units, ventilators 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.
Bergen Tops County Count
Bergen has the most confirmed cumulative cases in the state with 90,381, followed by Middlesex at 85,248, Essex at 85,008, Hudson at 79,140, Monmouth at 68,161, Ocean at 66,219, Passaic at 66,050, Union at 60,743, Camden at 49,252, Morris at 42,098, Burlington at 38,453, Mercer at 31,783, Gloucester at 26,697, Atlantic at 25,034, Somerset at 24,456, Cumberland at 14,969, Sussex at 11,783, Warren at 9,023, Hunterdon at 9,014, Salem at 5,584, and Cape May at 4,667.
In regards to probable cases, Bergen had the most at 14,778, followed by Union at 11,149, Ocean at 10,468, Essex at 9,560, Hudson at 9,363, Morris at 8,353, Monmouth at 8,229, Middlesex at 7,524, Passaic at 7,461, Camden at 6,787, Atlantic at 6,663, Burlington at 6,033, Somerset at 5,847, Cape May at 4,643, Gloucester at 4,060, Mercer at 2,445, Sussex at 2,359, Cumberland at 2,294, Warren at 1,033, Hunterdon at 903, and Salem 541.
Another 725 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 14 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 63 of the cases, broken down between 34 residents and 29 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,487 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 32,798 residents and 22,230 staff, for a total of 55,028.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 8,063 on July 8. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,878 residents deaths and 144 staff deaths.