New Jersey on Saturday reported another 2,993 confirmed COVID-19 positive tests and seven confirmed deaths as cases continue to climb with omicron’s subvariant BA.5.
The subvariant spreads rapidly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it accounted for 65% of new COVID-19 cases in the past week.
The statewide positivity rate for tests conducted Monday — the most recent day with available data — was 12.14%. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers positivity rates above 10% to be “high.” However, the positivity rate is substantially lower than its peak of 40.83% on Jan. 1 during the height of the omicron variant.
New Jersey’s most recently reported rate of transmission is 1.10. When the transmission rate is 1, that means cases have leveled off at the current numbers. Anything above 1 means the outbreak is expanding. A transmission rate below 1 is an indication that the coronavirus outbreak is declining, as each new case is leading to less than one additional new case.
There were 995 patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases reported across 68 of the state’s 71 hospitals Saturday.
The state’s seven-day average for confirmed positive tests is 2,756, a 17% increase from both last week and last month.
Seventeen New Jersey counties are now considered high risk for COVID-19 transmission. Those in high-risk areas are recommended to wear a mask indoors in public and on public transportation and stay up to date on vaccinations, according to the CDC.
Only Hunterdon, Mercer, Salem and Cumberland counties remain in the medium-risk category. Masks are not recommended in the medium- and low-risk regions.
New Jersey has reported 2.17 million total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the more than two years since the state reported its first known case March 4, 2020.
The Garden State has also recorded 371,799 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 34,159 COVID-19 deaths — 31,062 confirmed fatalities and 3,090 probable ones.
New Jersey has the eighth-most coronavirus deaths per capita in the U.S. — behind Mississippi, Arizona, Oklahoma, Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas — as of Friday. Last summer, the state had the most deaths per capita in the nation.
More than 6.96 million people who work, live, or study in the Garden State have reached fully vaccinated status.
Over 7.86 million have received a first dose since vaccinations began in the state on Dec. 15, 2020.
More than 4 million people in the state eligible for boosters have received one. That number may rise after the Food and Drug Administration approved booster shots for healthy children between the ages of 5 and 11. U.S. regulators authorized the booster for kids, hoping an extra vaccine dose will enhance their protection as infections continue to spread.
LONG-TERM CARE NUMBERS
At least 9,393 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 as of Friday.
Of the active outbreaks at 367 facilities, there are 4,760 current cases among residents and 4,820 cases among staff, as of the latest data.
As of Saturday, there have been more than 561 million COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus database. More than 6.36 million people have died because of the virus, the data shows.
The U.S. has reported the most COVID-19 cases (more than 89.4 million) and deaths (at least 1.02 million) of any nation.
There have been more than 11.8 billion vaccine doses administered globally.