NJ reports 2,376 COVID cases, 16 deaths. All 21 provinces now have “high” transmission speeds.

New Jersey reported another 2,376 . on Thursday COVID-19 cases and 16 confirmed deaths, while statewide coronavirus hospitalizations surpassed 800 for the fourth day in a row and all 21 counties of the state now qualified as having “high” transmission speeds when people gathered for Thanksgiving.

The state’s seven-day average for new positive tests rose to 1,835, up 20% from a week ago and 58% from a month ago. That is the highest average in almost two months.

The 2,376 positive cases announced Thursday are the most the state has reported in one day since September 16.

Statewide transmission rate remained at 1.23 on Thursday. The speed was 1.23 on Tuesday and 1.22 on Monday – Wednesday’s transmission speed was not available. Any transmission rate above 1 indicates that every infected person is passing the virus on to at least one other person.

State officials have urged residents to exercise caution during Thanksgiving and other upcoming holidays and to get vaccine booster shots.

“Please, please, please enjoy this vacation, but enjoy it on every level safely and responsibly,” says Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday. “If you’re with people you have a certain amount of confidence in — you know them, you know their vaccine status — then do it.”

There were 856 patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases Wednesday night at New Jersey’s 71 hospitals.

Of these, 168 patients were in intensive care, 77 of whom were on a ventilator. At least 137 patients were discharged statewide in the 24 hours leading up to Wednesday night.

This marks the fourth day in a row that more than 800 patients have been hospitalized statewide after dropping below 700 earlier this month.

The statewide positivity rate for Saturday, the most recent day available, was 7.1%.

Officials said they expect the latest increase to peak sometime in January — the same as last year — with potentially 2,000 hospitalizations or more. But state health commissioner Judith Persichilli emphasized on Monday that the big difference this year is that the state is allowing many more people to be vaccinated.

“We just started vaccinating (last year) on December 15,” Persichilli said. “In mid-January, we saw a peak of nearly 3,000 hospitalizations. Now, if we haven’t done anything, it could happen again. But because of our high vaccination coverage, we hope for serious illness and moderate hospitalizations.”

Officials are encouraging anyone 18 and older in New Jersey who received their second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines six months ago or more to get a booster shot. That’s after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that it’s open booster shot suitability for all adults.

Anyone 18 years and older who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was eligible for a booster two months after the single injection.

As of Monday, New Jersey has reported a total of 50,762 breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated people, leading to 1,061 hospitalizations and 300 deaths, although this represents a small percentage of the total number of cases.

From November 1 to 7, the state reported 9,429 positive tests. Of those, 1,707 were from fully vaccinated people, and those cases resulted in two hospitalizations (out of 525 total) and no deaths (out of 115 total).

All 21 New Jersey counties are listed with “high” rates of coronavirus transmission, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hudson County was the last holdout, but transmission levels were upgraded from “substantial” to “high” on Thursday. The CDC recommends that all people in high-transmission countries wear masks for public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.

More than 6.17 million people living, working or studying in New Jersey — a state of about 9.2 million residents — are now fully vaccinated. More than 8 million people in the state have received at least one dose, and more than 1.18 million people have received third doses or boosters.

According to the state, at least 87,500 children between the ages of 5 and 11 in New Jersey have received vaccine doses as of Monday since federal authorities approved Pfizer injections for that age group two weeks ago.

The delta variant of the virus, which is more contagious than previous variants, represents nearly 100% of all cases currently circulating in New Jersey.

New Jersey, an early epicenter of the pandemic, has now reported 28,323 total COVID-19 deaths — 25,500 confirmed and 2,823 considered likely — in the more than 20 months since the outbreak began.

The state has the third most deaths from coronavirus per capita in the US, behind Mississippi and Alabama.

New Jersey has reported a total of 1,077,405 confirmed cases from more than 16 million PCR tests performed since announcing its first case on March 4, 2020. The state has also reported more than 163,805 positive antigen or rapid tests, which are considered probable cases.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live Map Tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

There have been a total of 179 school outbreaks in New Jersey among students and staff this academic year, leading to 1,026 cases, according to the latest number released last week. Those numbers are cumulative and do not reflect active infections. Burlington and Warren counties have reported no outbreaks at school this year.

Outbreaks at school, reported weekly by the state, are defined as three or more cases identified by contact tracing as being transmitted among staff or students while in school. Total cases among employees and students are not included.

New Jersey on Monday publicly reported for the first time there have been at least 22,842 positive coronavirus tests among students and school staff in grades K-12 statewide since the beginning of this academic year, along with figures showing that nearly 85% of school staff have been fully vaccinated.

At least 8,687 of the COVID-19 deaths in the state were among residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data. There are active outbreaks in 120 facilities, resulting in 653 current cases among residents and 546 among staff members.

More than 259 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University, in which more than 5.17 million people have died as a result of the virus. The US has reported the most cases (more than 48 million) and deaths (more than 775,390) of all countries.

More than 7.5 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

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Jackie Roman can be reached on [email protected] or on Twitter @JacqueRoman.


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