N.J. reports 14 COVID deaths, 691 cases. Stealth variant now 30% of positive tests.

Published: Mar. 22, 2022

New Jersey on Tuesday reported another 14 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 691 positive tests as the so-called “stealth variant” has risen to 30% of tests sampled earlier this month.

The state’s seven-day average for confirmed cases was 859 on Tuesday, down 42% from a month ago as the recent massive wave driven by the omicron variant has largely receded, though positive tests have started to level off over the last week.

There were 392 patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases across 69 of the state’s 71 hospitals as of Monday night. Two hospitals did not report data. Hospitalizations hit a recent peak at 6,089 on Jan. 10 during the omicron wave.

There were at least 41 people discharged in that same 24-hour period, according to state data. Of those hospitalized, 75 were in intensive care and 43 were on ventilators.

The statewide transmission rate was 0.88 Tuesday. Any rate below 1 indicates the outbreak is on the decline with each new case leading to fewer than one additional case. When the rate is 1, that means the outbreak has leveled off at its current numbers.

The statewide daily positivity rate for tests conducted Wednesday, the most recent day available, was 2.36%.

The state on Tuesday also reported 276 probable cases from rapid antigen testing at medical sites.

All of New Jersey’s 21 counties are currently listed as having “low” rates of transmission, according to recently updated guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthy people in the low and medium categories are no longer recommended to wear masks.

BA.2, the new strain of COVID-19, has been spreading in New Jersey for weeks, though at much lower rates than the omicron surge in December and January. Officials have said the omicron “stealth” subvariant appears to spread more easily, but generally not cause severe illness.

For the week ending March 5, BA.2 accounted for 30.3% of the positive tests sampled (up from 21.2% the previous week), while the omicron variant accounted for nearly 69.7% of positive tests sampled.

TOTAL NUMBERS

New Jersey has reported 1,890,703 total confirmed cases out of more than 17.4 million PCR tests conducted in the more than two years since the state reported its first known case March 4, 2020.

The Garden State has also recorded 298,936 positive antigen or rapid tests, which are considered probable cases. And there are numerous cases that have likely never been counted, including at-home positive tests that are not included in the state’s numbers.

The state of 9.2 million residents has reported 33,186 COVID-19 deaths in that time — 30,198 confirmed fatalities and 2,988 probable.

New Jersey has the fifth-most coronavirus deaths per capita in the U.S. — behind Mississippi, Arizona, Alabama and Oklahoma — as of the latest data reported Monday.

VACCINATION NUMBERS

More than 6.8 million of the 8.46 million eligible people who live, work or study in New Jersey have received the initial course of vaccinations and more than 7.7 million have received a first dose since vaccinations began here on Dec. 15, 2020.

While the number of N.J. residents fully vaccinated has reached over 6.8 million, the latest numbers also come on the heels of a major study that reveals even a mild case of COVID-19 can significantly affect the brain.

More than 3.19 million people in the state eligible for boosters have received one.

SCHOOL AND LONG-TERM NUMBERS

For the week ending March 6, with around 61% of schools reporting data, another 1,175 COVID-19 cases were reported among staff (253) and students (922) across New Jersey’s schools.

Since the start of the academic year, there have been 101,496 students and 28,417 school staff members who have contracted COVID-19 in New Jersey, though the state has never had more than two-thirds of the school districts reporting data in any week.

The state provides total student and staff cases separately from those deemed to be in-school transmission, which is narrowly defined as three or more cases linked through contact tracing.

New Jersey has reported 513 total in-school outbreaks, including 3,495 cases among students and staff.

At least 9,364 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data.

There were active outbreaks at 197 facilities, resulting in 5,322 current cases among residents and 5,774 cases among staff as of the latest data.

GLOBAL NUMBERS

As of Tuesday, there have been over 472 million COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 6 million people having died due to the virus.

The U.S. has reported the most cases (more than 79.7 million) and deaths (more than 972,681) of any nation.

There have been more than 10.8 billion vaccine doses administered globally.

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published this page in News and Politics 2022-03-23 02:49:58 -0700