State officials are forecasting a continued rise of new COVID-19 cases driven primarily by the Delta variant for the rest of the calendar year.
On Dec. 2, the number of new cases reached a one day high not seen since April 17 and hospitalizations were over 1,000 for the fourth straight day in a row. Additionally, the most recent one day percent positivity rate found nearly one out ten Garden State residents testing positive for COVID-19.
“I think, at the moment, we’re going to be in this period where we’re going to be in the uncomfortable reality of probable cases continuing to go up, largely if not overwhelmingly fueled by Delta,” said Gov. Phil Murphy recently.
State health officials noted that 99.9% of New Jersey’s cases right now are due to the Delta variant. Health officials continue to push getting fully vaccinated as well as receiving a booster shot as the best defense from spreading the virus as well as preventing those needing to be hospitalized.
“The vaccines are effective against Delta, so I encourage everyone not to be hysterical about what we don’t know about Omicron but to be really proactive in controlling what we do know, which is the Delta variant is here; it’s with us. It’s causing increasing trends,” said Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
Get the Booster
“The vaccines are effective, so if you haven’t been vaccinated, get vaccinated, and if you haven’t been boosted, get boosted.”
In her push for all those over 18 eligible to receive the booster shot, Persichilli noted a recent Science magazine study that reported the effectiveness of all three vaccines decreasing over time.
“The J&J vaccine effectiveness (decreased) from 86.4% to 13.1%, for Moderna from 89.2% to 58%, and for Pfizer, effectiveness went from 86.9% to 43.3%,” said the health commissioner. “Receiving a booster now ensures protection during the upcoming holiday season.”
As of Dec. 2, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 1,092,722 with 3,591 total new PCR cases. There were 1,053 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 167,633. The total number of individual cases for the state is 1,260,355.
As for those that have passed, the state reported 12 confirmed deaths, bringing that total to 25,593. The state listed probable deaths at 2,827, bringing the overall total to 28,420. State officials noted 10 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties on Dec. 2, Bergen had a total of 280 new confirmed cases and 75 new probable cases, Essex 268 new cases and 37 new probable case, Hudson 175 new cases and 16 new probable cases, Morris 247 new confirmed cases and 83 new probable cases, Passaic 195 new cases and 33 new probable cases, Sussex 130 new cases and 20 new probable cases, and Warren 75 new cases and seven new probable cases.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,870, followed by Bergen at 2,710, Hudson with 2,185, Passaic at 1,831, Morris at 1,055, Sussex at 284, and Warren County at 236.
In regards to probable deaths reported Nov. 29, Bergen has 311, Essex has 310, Morris has 267, Hudson has 223, Passaic has 207, Sussex has 71 and Warren has 26.
Of the 5,876,552 fully vaccinated individuals studied as of Nov. 15, 54,260 New Jersey residents have tested positive for COVID who were fully vaccinated, resulting in 1,160 COVID-related hospitalizations and 314 COVID-related deaths. All those are less than 1% in each category.
In the week of Nov. 8-14, breakthroughs accounted for 25.7% of all new cases (3,116 of 12,138), 0.4% of new hospilizations (16 of 602), and 1 of the 85 deaths.
As for the rate of transmission reported Dec. 2, it declined to 1.15 from 1.16 the day before. The daily rate of infections from those tested Nov. 27 was 9.5%; by region, the rate was 8.5% in the North, 10.9% in the Central region and 9.7% in the South.
The state reported 1,055 patients were hospitalized with all of the state’s 71 hospitals reporting. By region, there were 388 in the North, 371 in the Central and 296 in the South. Of those hospitalized, 199 are in intensive care units and 107 on ventilators. A total of 154 patients were discharged in the last 24 hour reporting period.
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.
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 13,770,257 in-state, plus an additional 512,456 administered out-of-state for a grand total of 14,282,713 as of Dec. 2. The total includes 113,982 between the ages of 5-11 who have received the vaccine.
Of those who have received the vaccine, 5,992,580 received their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose in state and another 220,534 out of state, bringing those fully vaccinated to 6,213,114. State officials reported boosters and third shots of 718,725 for Pfizer and 593,091 for Moderna. A total of 26,842 New Jerseyans have received their Johnson & Johnson booster shot. Overall, 1,338,658 have received a booster or third shot.
In North Jersey, Bergen County has 659,833 resident fully vaccinated, Essex 525,992, Hudson 469,655, Morris 355,735, Passaic 323,732, Sussex 186,124, and Warren 55,982.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions as of Nov. 30, the state has tracked 217 school outbreaks and 1,172 cases linked to those outbreaks since the 2021/2022 school year starting Aug. 7, up 23 outbreaks and 87 cases from the week previous.
Outbreaks are defined as three or more laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff with onsets within a 14 day period, linked within the school setting, do not share a household, and were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting during standard case investigation or contact tracing.
For North Jersey in the new report, Passaic County has eight confirmed outbreak with 102 cases, Bergen County has 22 confirmed outbreak with 93 cases, Morris County has 13 confirmed outbreaks with 74 cases, Sussex has 17 confirmed outbreak with 66 cases, Essex County has nine confirmed outbreak with 38 cases and Hudson County has 10 confirmed outbreaks with 34 cases. No outbreaks were reported in Warren County.
The vaccination rate for teachers in the Garden State is 85.3% overall. In North Jersey counties, Bergen is tops at 90.5%, followed by Passaic at 88.1%, Warren at 87.4%, Morris at 87.3%, Sussex at 84.9%, Essex at 81.8%, and Hudson at 79.1%, tied for lowest in the state.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 127 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 1,223 of the cases, broken down between 646 residents and 577 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,871 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 34,250 residents and 23,445 staff, for a total of 57,695.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 8,700 on Dec. 2. The facilities are reporting to the state 8,023 residents deaths and 145 staff deaths.