Murphy says COVID here to stay: ‘We have to learn how to live with this’
The CDC Data tracker still lists all 21 counties in New Jersey as having a high community transmission level for COVID but cases are down sharply as January comes to a close
Earlier this month, the state was reporting more than 30,000 new COVID cases per day.
On Saturday, the number of new cases was just 2,603. Demand for testing remains high, although many did not seek a test during the weekend storm.
However, all of the state's reported COVID metrics continue to fall.
The rate of transmission has dropped to .54 — public health officials consider anything below 1.0 to be on the right track.
Hospitalizations have also dropped below 3,000. More than 500 patients were discharged on Saturday. Of the 2,954 people still hospitalized, it is unknown how many were admitted for a primary COVID diagnosis or their vaccination status.
Overall, hospitalizations are down by more than half in less than three weeks.
New Jersey has not seen COVID number this low since the first week of December, when the omicron wave was just beginning.
State health officials are not prepared to say the omicron wave is over, and Gov. Phil Murphy says COVID is probably here to stay.
Speaking Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, Murphy said, "We're not going to manage this to zero. We have to learn how to live with this."
Last week, Dr. Ed Lifshitz, the director of communicable disease services for the New Jersey Health Department, said nobody should expect COVID to simply stop circulating at some point.
“I think there will be other variants that will come," Lidshitz said. "How bad will they be, again, anybody's guess."