A majority of Americans are fed up with the coronavirus pandemic. And their frustrations do not appearing to be going away anytime soon as New Jersey reported for the second consecutive day a single-day record for new COVID-19 cases.
The latest Monmouth University Poll found a majority of Americans felt “worn down” by the pandemic’s effect on their daily lives, and nearly half reported being “angry” about the current dynamic.
Six in ten Americans reported responding negatively to the pandemic-related changes made to their lives over the last 20 months, including 36% who felt worn out a lot and 24% who felt worn out a little. Twenty-four percent of the public was very angry about how COVID-19 was impacting their lives, while 21% said they were a little angry.
Support for Mandates Drop
“The fact that Americans say they have had enough should be no surprise,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. “Every time we try to adjust to a new normal, another variant pops up to put us on guard again. This perpetual unease is having an impact on how we view those charged with handling the pandemic.”
Support for vaccination requirements faltered as well, dropping to 46% from the 53% reported in September. The national poll was conducted was from Dec. 2 to 6, before the latest surge of the coronavirus has swept through the U.S. that has resulted in an increase in cases and a number of hospitals being fill to capacity with COVID-19 cases.
The publics’ view of mandated mask usage continues to shift. Support for instituting, or reinstituting, face mask and social distancing guidelines dropped to 55%, compared to 52% in July and 63% in September.
Public Officials’ Ratings Drop
The American public was split on whether President Joe Biden had done a good job (46%) or bad job (46%) in handling the pandemic.
Prior to this poll, Biden had consistently rated in net positive territory, with 53% of Americans saying he did a good job as recently as November. Of note, most of the decline in Biden support came from states Biden won in 2020, where only 47% of voters say he is doing a good job, compared to 60% in November.
Ratings for state governors have ticked down as well (to 50% good job and 41% bad job, compared with 60% good and 35% bad in November). In states Biden won, positive governor ratings have dropped from 61% to 49%. In states he lost, they dropped from 58% to 52%.
Reviews of how federal health agencies have dealt with the pandemic remain positive with a 48%-41% good job/bad job split, but have also slipped from a month earlier (53% to 38%. Opinion on how the American public is dealing with the pandemic remains largely negative at 27% good job and 56% bad job, at 35% and 55%, respectively, in November.
Partisan Shifts Less Evident
“We just came out of an off-year election in Virginia and New Jersey where blue states did not look so blue. The failure to get COVID under control may be playing a role there, especially for independent voters, in a growing sense of frustration with the party in power,” said Murray.
Unlike many recent Monmouth University Polls, there was less partisan difference in responses to the question. Sixty-four percent of Republicans and 63% of Democrats said they were at least a little worn out by the pandemic-related changes.
Anger, however, showed a partisan divide. Sixty-three percent of Republicans reported feeling angry, with only 34% of Democrats sharing this viewpoint.
As of Dec. 23, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 1,202,290 with 15,482 total new PCR cases. There were 3,178 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 189,044. The total number of individual cases for the state is 1,217,772.
As for those that have passed, the state reported 33 confirmed deaths, bringing that total to 25,980. The state listed probable deaths at 2,842, bringing the overall total to 28,822. State officials noted 22 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties on Dec. 23, Bergen had a total of 1,673 new confirmed cases and 273 new probable cases, Essex 2,978 new cases and 191 new probable case, Hudson 1,176 new cases and 101 new probable cases, Morris 916 new confirmed cases and 205 new probable cases, Passaic 976 new cases and 123 new probable cases, Sussex 191 new cases and 39 new probable cases, and Warren 133 new cases and 14 new probable cases.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,892, followed by Bergen at 2,742, Hudson with 2,203, Passaic at 1,853, Morris at 1,066, Sussex at 288, and Warren County at 245.
In regards to probable deaths reported Dec. 20, Bergen has 312, Essex has 310, Morris has 268, Hudson has 223, Passaic has 207, Sussex has 73 and Warren has 26.
Of the 5,957,600 fully vaccinated individuals studied as of Dec. 6, 68,913 New Jersey residents have tested positive for COVID who were fully vaccinated (1.16%). Of those 1,513 have been hospitalized and 350 COVID-related deaths—less than 1% in each category.
In the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 5, breakthroughs accounted for 22.5% of all new cases (6,082 of 27,036), 2.0% of new hospilizations (24 of 1,198), and 0 of the 116 deaths.
As for the rate of transmission reported Dec. 23, it remained at 1.23 for the third consecutive day. The daily rate of infections from those tested Dec. 18 was 16.8%; by region, the rate was 17.7% in the North, 16.2% in the Central region and 14.7% in the South.
The state reported 2,241 patients were hospitalized in full reporting of the state’s 71 hospitals. By region, there were 983 in the North, 690 in the Central and 568 in the South. Of those hospitalized, 399 are in intensive care units and 200 on ventilators—reaching 200 for the first time since May 2. A total of 316 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.
According to the state dashboard, new student cases totaled 5,632 and new staff cases 1,315 in the last week as of Dec. 12. Cumulatively, 34,331 cases have been reported— 36,252 students and 8,079 staffers.
The vaccination rate for teachers in the Garden State is 84.0% overall. In North Jersey counties, Sussex was tops at 86.7%, followed by Morris at 86.5%, Warren at 86.0%, Passaic at 86.0%, Essex at 82.4%, and Hudson at 78.9%, and Bergen at 78.6%, the lowest county in the state.
In regards to outbreaks related to in-school transmissions as of Dec. 22, the state has tracked 336 school outbreaks and 1,889 cases linked to those outbreaks since the 2021/2022 school year starting Aug. 7, up 42 outbreaks and 271 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, Bergen County has 39 confirmed outbreak with 198 cases, Passaic County has 16 confirmed outbreak with 160 cases, Morris County has 27 confirmed outbreaks with 134 cases, Sussex has 25 confirmed outbreak with 121 cases, Essex County has 17 confirmed outbreak with 86 cases, Hudson County has 16 confirmed outbreaks with 63 cases and Warren County has two confirmed outbreaks with 12 cases.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 271 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 1,796 of the cases, broken down between 947 residents and 2,183 staff.
Cumulatively, 2,048 long-term care facilities have reported an outbreak infecting 34,727 residents and 24,220 staff, for a total of 58,947.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 8,744 on Dec. 23. The facilities are reporting to the state 8,049 residents deaths and 145 staff deaths.
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 12,882,449 in-state, plus an additional 500,503 administered out-of-state for a grand total of 13,382,952 as of Dec. 23.
Of those who have received the vaccine, 6,170,885 received their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose in state and another 208,376 out of state, bringing those fully vaccinated to 6,379,261—73% of those total eligible. A total of 7,221,774 have received at least their first dose, or 85% of those eligible, as of Dec. 20.
State officials reported boosters and third shots of 1,080,170 for Pfizer and 920,897 for Moderna. A total of 44,442 New Jerseyans have received their Johnson & Johnson booster shot. Overall, 2,045,509 have received a booster or third shot, or a total of 43% of those eligible. (4,804,527)
In North Jersey, Bergen County has 678,230 residents fully vaccinated, Essex 544,129, Hudson 486,010, Morris 366,523, Passaic 331,851, Sussex 88,055, and Warren 57,324.