New Jersy reports 5 COVID deaths, 285 cases. More than 5M people fully vaccinated

New Jersey on Friday reported another 285 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and another five confirmed deaths, while statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to hover around 300 patients and more than 5 million people in the state have now been fully vaccinated against the virus.

As of Friday morning, 5,022,352 people who live, work, or study in the 9.2 million-resident Garden State have now been fully vaccinated, according to state data. That includes 4.87 million people vaccinated at state sites and more than 15,600 residents who have gotten their shots out of state.

More than 5.48 million people have received at least their first dose at a New Jersey site. The state has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, with nearly 70% of its adults fully inoculated.

New Jersey recently saw its daily cases, hospitalizations, and deaths drop to record-low numbers after weeks of steady declines, though officials say metrics have now leveled off as the state sees an increase in cases of the highly contagious Delta variant cases.

Officials have called on unvaccinated residents to get their shot to protect against the variant, saying the relatively high vaccination rate here has helped prevent the larger outbreaks other states have seen.

New Jersey’s seven-day average for newly confirmed positive COVID-19 tests is now 216 — up 9% from a week ago but down 20% from a month ago.

There were 306 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or suspected cases across New Jersey as of Thursday night — 10 fewer than the previous night — with 52 in intensive care and 26 on ventilators. By comparison, hospitalizations peaked at more than 8,300 patients during the state’s first wave in April 2020 and more than 3,800 during its second wave in December.

Newly confirmed deaths have been in the single digits for five straight days.

The statewide transmission rate rose to 0.99 — just below the critical threshold of 1 — up from 0.97 the day before. Any number under 1 indicates that each new case is leading to less than one additional case and shows the state’s outbreak is declining.

The latest statewide positivity rate for Saturday, the date with the most recent data, was 1.49%.

New Jersey, an early coronavirus hotspot, has now reported 6,467 deaths from complications related to COVID-19 in nearly 16 months — 23,764 confirmed and 2,703 considered probable. That’s the most deaths per capita among U.S. states.

In all, the Garden State has reported 893,432 total confirmed cases out of more than 14.44 million tests since it announced its first case March 4, 2020. The state has also reported 130,458 positive antigen tests — which are considered probable cases.

Murphy has lifted the majority of New Jersey’s coronavirus restrictions, though mask mandates remain on NJ Transit and in state buildings, among some other places. He has also ended the state’s emergency over the pandemic, though he retains some powers to keep managing the state’s response.

The governor announced Monday the state will not require students or staff to wear masks in school when the next academic year begins and instead will leave it up to individual districts whether to implement their own mask mandates. But he noted this is all contingent on there not being any “dramatic” deterioration in the state’s COVID-19 numbers.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

Those 30 to 49 years old make up the largest percentage of New Jersey residents who have caught the virus (30.9%), followed by those 50-64 (22.4%), 18-29 (20%), 5-17 (10.1%), 65-79 (10%), 80 and older (4.4%) and 0-4 (2.1%).

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 (45.92%), followed by those 65-79 (33.15%), 50-64 (16.35%), 30-49 (4.16%), 18-29 (0.39%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).

At least 8,062 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 have been more than 182.76 million positive COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 3.95 million people having died from complications related to the virus. The U.S. has reported more cases (33.67 million) and deaths (605,000) than any other nation.

More than 3.12 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally.

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