TRENTON – Just 170 new coronavirus infections were reported by the state in Tuesday’s update, which likely reflects both the receding pandemic and the typical decline in testing over holiday weekends.

The total includes 137 cases confirmed by PCR tests and 33 suspected cases identified by antigen tests.

The last time fewer positive tests were announced was on July 19, when 144 PCR tests were announced, back before antigen results were made public daily. The last time fewer PCR positives were announced was March 17, 2020 – just a few weeks into the pandemic, when testing was extremely limited and the totals didn’t accurately reflect the activity level of the virus.

Past patterns suggest that the numbers will increase slightly in the days ahead.

Last year over Memorial Day weekend, the state added an average of 761 new COVID cases a day between Saturday and Tuesday – down from an average of 1,070 in the four preceding days. Some of those positives were merely delayed, as the average rebounded to 961 in the following four days.

Over the past week, the state has added an average of 273 COVID infections a day, including both PCR and antigen tests. That’s down 32% from a week earlier and translates to a rate of 3.1 cases per 100,000 residents – down from 21.8 on May 1 and 52.3 on April 1.

The 7-day average was last this low in the fourth week of August 2020.

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Vermont, Nebraska and California were the only states with case rates below 3.1 per 100,000 as of Monday, according to COVID Act Now. Washington, D.C., was also below that rate.

The numbers of COVID-related hospitalizations, 530, and patients in intensive care, 111, are the lowest since Oct. 4. The number on ventilators, 66, is the least since Oct. 20.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at

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