N.J. reports 5,023 new COVID cases, 83 more deaths as vaccinations near 725K doses – NJ.com

New Jersey health officials on Friday reported another 5,023 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 83 additional deaths as vaccination doses neared 725,000 shots administered.

The seven-day average for new confirmed cases increased to 4,496, up 6% from a week ago, and up 14% from a month ago. Hospitalizations declined to 3,116, the lowest since Nov. 30.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the latest numbers during a coronavirus briefing in Trenton and the state is administering about 25,000 doses a day on average.

“We are working every day to maximize every dose we are given and to administer to as many people as our supply will allow,” Murphy said. “As the federal government increases our allotment, we’ll be able to open up for more appointments. And, as we will now know what our allotment will look like three weeks down the road, we’ll be able to make more long-term decisions to improve our vaccine program.”

New Jersey has now lost 21,383 residents in the nearly 11 month outbreak with 19,254 confirmed fatalities and 2,129 considered probable. The death toll for January rose to 2,274 confirmed fatalities, the most in any month since May.

Murphy said the most recent positivity rate for tests conducted on Monday, the most recent day available, was 8.37% of the 65,709 test conducted.

The rate of transmission remained 0.91 for the third consecutive day. Any number under 1 indicates that the outbreak is slowing.

The total number of confirmed cases is now 615,202 out of more than 9.2 million positive tests. There have also been 72,067 positive antigen tests, which the state recently began reporting publicly. Those cases are considered probable and health officials have warned the positive antigen tests could overlap with the confirmed PCR tests because they are sometime given in tandem.

Murphy announced he’s extending the ban on interstate sports for certain age groups, including high school programs, that was set to expire Sunday. The ban was first announced in November.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

VACCINATIONS

There have been 724,371 vaccine doses administered in New Jersey so far, according to the state’s dashboard. Of those, 610,110 were the first of two doses people will receive.

That’s out of more than 1.23 million doses the state has received from the federal government, according to a running tally by the federal Centers for Disease Control.

All six of the state’s vaccine mega-sites have now opened along with about 200 other locations statewide, though some mega-sites have had to suspended operations for a day after running out of doses.

Murphy said on Wednesday that the state can now expect about 130,000 doses from the federal government over the next three weeks, up from 100,000, but demand is still far outpacing the supply in the state.

“We still have a big supply-demand imbalance. We’re still going to be chopping through that for weeks to come,” Murphy said during a CNN interview.

VACCINATIONS BY COUNTY

  • ATLANTIC COUNTY – 21,300 doses administered
  • BERGEN COUNTY – 80,834 doses administered
  • BURLINGTON COUNTY – 35,689 doses administered
  • CAMDEN COUNTY – 42,475 doses administered
  • CAPE MAY COUNTY- 10,507 doses administered
  • CUMBERLAND COUNTY – 11,082 doses administered
  • ESSEX COUNTY – 56,644 doses administered
  • GLOUCESTER COUNTY – 24,517 doses administered
  • HUDSON COUNTY – 34,321 doses administered
  • HUNTERDON COUNTY – 10,124 doses administered
  • MERCER COUNTY – 18,742 doses administered
  • MIDDLESEX COUNTY – 53,984 doses administered
  • MONMOUTH COUNTY – 55,267 doses administered
  • MORRIS COUNTY – 53,316 doses administered
  • OCEAN COUNTY – 43,064 doses administered
  • PASSAIC COUNTY – 34,238 doses administered
  • SALEM COUNTY – 4,400 doses administered
  • SOMERSET COUNTY – 27,970 doses administered
  • SUSSEX COUNTY – 11,712 doses administered
  • UNION COUNTY – 35,594 doses administered
  • WARREN COUNTY – 7,349 doses administered
  • UNKNOWN COUNTY – 23,720 doses administered
  • OUT OF STATE – 27,522 doses administered

COUNTY-BY-COUNTY NUMBERS (sorted by most new cases)

  • Essex County: 59,188 confirmed cases (641 new), 2,279 confirmed deaths (255 probable)
  • Middlesex County: 58,890 confirmed cases (538 new), 1,695 confirmed deaths (217 probable)
  • Bergen County: 59,421 confirmed cases (470 new), 2,197 confirmed deaths (268 probable)
  • Monmouth County: 44,074 confirmed cases (464 new), 1,145 confirmed deaths (108 probable)
  • Ocean County: 44,106 confirmed cases (400 new), 1,553 confirmed deaths (90 probable)
  • Hudson County: 55,971 confirmed cases (384 new), 1,690 confirmed deaths (171 probable)
  • Morris County: 27,243 confirmed cases (303 new), 844 confirmed deaths (207 probable)
  • Passaic County: 46,768 confirmed cases (278 new), 1,432 confirmed deaths (163 probable)
  • Camden County: 36,092 confirmed cases (264 new), 937 confirmed deaths (69 probable)
  • Union County: 44,115 confirmed cases (182 new), 1,480 confirmed deaths (186 probable)
  • Burlington County: 27,570 confirmed cases (174 new), 635 confirmed deaths (48 probable)
  • Gloucester County: 18,946 confirmed cases (164 new), 472 confirmed deaths (22 probable)
  • Atlantic County: 17,021 confirmed cases (160 new), 445 confirmed deaths (22 probable)
  • Mercer County: 23,425 confirmed cases (152 new), 776 confirmed deaths (38 probable)
  • Somerset County: 16,123 confirmed cases (117 new), 647 confirmed deaths (96 probable)
  • Cumberland County: 10,650 confirmed cases (99 new), 284 confirmed deaths (14 probable)
  • Sussex County: 6,804 confirmed cases (62 new), 198 confirmed deaths (55 probable)
  • Warren County: 5,399 confirmed cases (52 new), 183 confirmed deaths (15 probable)
  • Hunterdon County: 5,257 confirmed cases (40 new), 93 confirmed deaths (54 probable)
  • Salem County: 3,850 confirmed cases (33 new), 129 confirmed deaths (11 probable)
  • Cape May County: 3,162 confirmed cases (9 new), 140 confirmed deaths (20 probable)

HOSPITALIZATIONS

There were 3,116 patients hospitalized with confirmed (2,884) or suspected (232) COVID-19 cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals as of Wednesday night. That’s five fewer than the previous day.

That included 563 in critical or intensive care (15 fewer than the previous night), with 378 on ventilators (28 fewer).

There were also 363 COVID-19 patients discharged Thursday, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Murphy has said any hospitalizations over 5,000 patients would likely trigger new rounds of restrictions. But the number of people being hospitalized has mostly ticked down slowly in recent days after hitting a more than seven-month high of 3,873 people on Dec. 22.

The state hit a high of more than 8,000 hospitalizations in April.

SCHOOL CASES

At least 629 students and staff in 131 school districts in New Jersey have caught COVID-19 through in-school outbreaks, according to the latest update from state health officials.

That’s an increase of 10 districts from the previous weekly report. There are now confirmed in-school outbreaks in all 21 counties, though the state does not identify the individual school districts.

Those numbers do not include students or staff believed to have been infected outside school or cases that can’t be confirmed as in-school outbreaks. Though the numbers keep rising every week, Murphy has said the school outbreak statistics remain below what state officials were expecting when schools reopened for in-person classes.

New Jersey defines school outbreaks as cases where contact tracers determined two or more students or school staff caught or transmitted COVID-19 in the classroom or during academic activities at school.

AGE BREAKDOWN

Broken down by age, those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (31.2%), followed by those 50-64 (23.7%), 18-29 (19.3%), 65-79 (11.1%), 5-17 (7.5%), 80 and older (5.4%), and 0-4 (1.6%).

On average, the virus has been more deadly for older residents, especially those with preexisting conditions. Nearly half the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents 80 and older (47%), followed by those 65-79 (33%), 50-64 (15.6%), 30-49 (4%), 18-29 (0.4%), 5-17 (0%), and 0-4 (0%).

At least 7,713 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. That number has been rising again at a steeper rate in recent months, with deaths at the state’s nursing homes nearly tripling in December.

There are currently active outbreaks at 435 facilities, resulting in 7,338 active cases among residents and 7,929 among staffers.

GLOBAL NUMBERS

As of Friday, there have been more than 101.5 million positive COVID-19 tests across the world, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 2.19 million people have died from coronavirus-related complications.

The U.S. has reported the most cases, at more than 25.7 million, and the most deaths, at more than 433,200.

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Matt Arco may be reached at marco@njadvancemedia.com.