N.J. reports 7 COVID deaths, 948 cases as Murphy says rates are improving in ‘a dramatically good direction’

Published: Feb. 13, 2022

New Jersey on Sunday reported another seven confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 948 confirmed cases as Gov. Phil Murphy said during an interview the state’s figures from the latest wave of the pandemic are improving in “a dramatically good direction.”

The state’s seven-day average for confirmed positive tests dropped to 1,751, down 33% from a week ago and 93% from a month ago as the recent surge driven by the omicron variant continues to subside. That’s the lowest average since Nov. 22.

It’s the first time since mid-November that fewer than 1,000 daily PCR tests were reported.

There were 1,408 patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases across 69 of New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Saturday night. Two hospitals didn’t report daily figures.

“Our numbers are improving, and I would use the word dramatically,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during a Sunday morning interview on “Face the Nation.”

“(The) rate of transmission, positivity rate, hospitalizations, cases, (and) in school transmissions (are) all going in a dramatically good direction,” he said. “This variant has spiked straight up, and it’s now coming straight down.”

Murphy announced Thursday he extended the most recent state’s public-health emergency over the pandemic another 30 days. He also announced he will lift long-standing statewide mask mandates in schools and child care centers March 7.

New Jersey’s statewide transmission rate Sunday increased slightly to 0.5 from 0.48 a day earlier. But that’s still well below the key benchmark of 1.

The state saw a recent high transmission rate of 1.92 on Jan. 1. 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 positivity rate has also been dropping from earlier this month. The rate for tests conducted on Saturday, the most recent day available, was 9.47%. The rate had been above 30% through the early weeks of January.

Through the first 13 days of February, New Jersey has reported 960 confirmed deaths.

Deaths tend to follow weeks or a month after a spike in cases. The state reported 2,380 confirmed deaths in the month of January, three more than 2,377 in January 2021 and the most in a month since May 2020, when 4,566 deaths were reported. The state’s deadliest month was April 2020, with 7,011 fatalities.

Officials stress that daily death reports do not reflect fatalities that occurred in the last 24 hours and reporting is sometimes delayed for days or weeks as fatalities are investigated and certified.

 

For the week ending Jan. 22, the omicron variant accounted for 98.7% of positive tests sampled (delta variant was second at 1.3%). The variant has accounted for more than 91% of cases sampled for four consecutive weeks, according to state data.

New Jersey’s recent surge in cases came as more people are getting tested than ever before. The state on Thursday also reported 697 probable cases from rapid antigen testing at medical sites.

Officials stress case numbers are likely dramatically undercounted because many residents are testing at home, the results of which aren’t reported to the state. The federal government recently began shipping free at-home tests to residents.

All of New Jersey’s 21 counties are still listed as having “high” rates of coronavirus transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency is recommending that all people in high transmission counties wear masks for indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status.

TOTAL NUMBERS

New Jersey, an early coronavirus hotspot, has now reported 32,377 deaths — 29,440 confirmed deaths and 2,937 probable deaths — in the more than 23 months since the pandemic began here.

The state of 9.2 million people has the third-most coronavirus deaths per capita in the U.S. — behind Mississippi and Arizona — as of the latest data reported Thursday.

New Jersey has reported 1,853,814 total confirmed cases out of more than 17.2 million PCR tests conducted since the state’s first case was announced on March 4, 2020. The state has also reported 291,397 positive antigen or rapid tests, which are considered probable cases.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

There were 1,408 patients with confirmed or suspected cases across 69 of the state’s 71 hospitals as of Saturday night. There were at least 272 people discharged over that same period, according to state data.

Of the those hospitalized, 269 people were in intensive care and 166 were on ventilators.

VACCINATION NUMBERS

More than 6.67 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 7.6 million have received a first dose since vaccines began here on Dec. 15, 2020.

More than 2.86 million of the 5.56 million people in New Jersey eligible for boosters have received one.

Murphy said Monday that booster numbers continue to be “way lower” than they should be.

Officials continue to emphasize that while vaccinated and boosted residents can still catch the virus, they are less likely to spread it and far less likely to become hospitalized or die — especially those who have gotten booster shots. That also helps alleviate pressure on hospitals, they say.

The state does not issue daily breakdowns of the vaccine status of those who test positive, are hospitalized, or died because of the virus. Instead, officials release figures over a period of time.

For the four-week span from Dec. 26 to Jan. 22, New Jersey reported 368,343 total COVID-19 cases, leading to 5,665 hospitalizations, and 1,109 deaths, Murphy said last week.

Among the 2.46 million residents unvaccinated or who haven’t completed the initial course of vaccination, there were 299,679 cases in that span. Those cases led to 3,290 hospitalizations and 633 deaths.

Among 3.6 million residents having received only an initial vaccine course (one dose for the Johnson & Johnson or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna), there were 174,035 breakthrough cases that led to 1,775 hospitalizations and 350 deaths.

Among the 2.67 million people who received booster shots on top of their initial vaccine course, there were 54,629 breakthrough cases that led to 600 hospitalizations and 126 deaths.

SCHOOL AND NURSING HOME NUMBERS

Cases continue to be reported among school staff and students in New Jersey, though not at the levels seen during the peak of the omicron wave activity right after the holiday break, according to state Department of Health numbers that track infections regardless of where the transmission occurred.

For the week ending Jan. 30, with around 64% of schools reporting data, another 7,993 cases were reported among staff (1,536) and students (6,457).

Since the start of the academic year, there have been 102,237 students and 28,583 school staff members who have contracted COVID-19, 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 484 total in-school outbreaks including 3,255 students and staff.

At least 9,127 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 549 facilities, resulting in 12,349 current cases among residents and 14,399 cases among staff as of the latest data.

GLOBAL NUMBERS

As of Sunday, there have been more than 410 million COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 5.81 million people having died due to the virus. The U.S. has reported the most cases (more than 77.7 million) and deaths (more than 919,200) of any nation.

There have been more than 10.1 billion vaccine doses administered globally.

Do you like this post?

Showing 1 reaction


published this page in News and Politics 2022-02-14 02:54:03 -0800