New Jersey state health data now shows more than 8 in 10 people who live, work or study in the Garden State have had at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and 7 in 10 are considered fully vaccinated.

However, few of those have returned for a booster dose, with just over 900,000 boosters given out. The vaccination rate among New Jersey's youngest residents is also low. Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to update numbers today, but as of last week fewer than 10,000 kids between the ages of 5 and 11 had gotten the pediatric dose of the vaccine.

Murphy suggested last week that if more kids were vaccinated, it would prompt him to consider lifting the mask mandates in schools in January.

Even with the high number of vaccinated in New Jersey, cases continue to spike in pockets of the Garden State.

Two of the counties that had been downgraded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the risk of community spread, have now been moved back into the highest risk tier.

In Morris County, cases are up 21% over the last seven days. Hunterdon County has seen an 86% spike in cases. Overall, the number of new positive tests statewide is up 26%, but still lower than a month ago.

State health officials have been warning of a winter spike in COVID cases. The rate of transmission has held right around 1.0, showing neither an expansion nor contraction of the ongoing outbreak. Hospitalizations have increased slightly, but remain below 700 statewide.


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