New Jersey on Thursday reported another 2,942 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 13 new confirmed deaths as the rate of transmission dipped below 1 for the first time since June 29.
New Jersey’s rate of transmission was 0.97 on Thursday, according to the state Department of Health.
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.
When the transmission rate is 1, that means cases have leveled off at the current numbers. Anything above 1 means the outbreak is expanding.
The state’s seven-day average for confirmed positive tests is 2,555, a 12% decrease in the past week but a 5% increase from a month ago.
Eighteen of the state’s 21 counties are now considered high risk for transmission, the CDC reported Thursday, up from only six in mid-July. Only Mercer, Cumberland and Salem counties remain in the medium-risk category. The CDC recommends that residents in high-risk counties wear masks indoors.
There were 1,074 patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases reported across the state’s 71 hospitals Thursday. Of those hospitalized, 108 are in intensive care and 36 are on ventilators.
The statewide positivity rate for tests conducted Saturday — the most recent day with available data — was 18.25%.
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 has reported 2.2 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 385,561 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 34,320 COVID-19 deaths — 31,224 confirmed fatalities and 3,096 probable ones.
New Jersey has the ninth-most coronavirus deaths per capita in the U.S. — behind Mississippi, Arizona, Oklahoma, Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee, New Mexico and Arkansas — as of July 25. Last summer, the state had the most deaths per capita in the nation.
More than 6.99 million people who work, live or study in the Garden State have reached fully vaccinated status.
Over 7.89 million have received a first dose since vaccinations began in the state on Dec. 15, 2020.
More than 4.17 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.
Regulators have paused plans to authorize a second booster shot for adults under 50 this summer. Instead, they hope to revamp vaccines to target emerging subvariants by the fall.
LONG-TERM CARE NUMBERS
At least 9,468 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 Thursday.
Of the active outbreaks at 400 facilities, there are 5,321 current cases among residents and 5,694 cases among staff, as of the latest data.
As of Thursday, there have been more than 580 million COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus database.
More than 6.4 million people have died because of the virus, the data shows.
Japan reported the most cases in the past 28 days, at 3.8 million as of Thursday. The U.S. reported the second-most cases, at 3.5 million.
The U.S. has reported the most cumulative COVID-19 cases (more than 91.8 million) and deaths (at least 1.03 million) of any nation.
There have been more than 11.99 billion vaccine doses administered globally.
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Camille Furst may be reached at email@example.com. Find her on Twitter @CamilleFurst.