NJ COVID hospitalizations top 1,000 for the first time since May
For the first time since May 11, New Jersey's daily COVID-19 dashboard update on Wednesday showed more than 1,000 people hospitalized statewide due to positive cases of the coronavirus, or cases under investigation.
The total of 1,012 hospitalizations is the most since the 1,041 recorded on May 11. Prior to that, at least 1,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in New Jersey every day dating back to Oct. 27, 2020.
The three-and-a-half months under 1,000 hospital patients, ending Tuesday, was a slightly shorter length of time than the dip in cases in the summer of 2020, when hospitalizations stayed below that level from July 3 to Oct. 26, following the first COVID wave.
"We are back over 1,000+ COVID-related hospitalizations for the first time since May 11th," Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Wednesday afternoon. "We've come too far to go backward. Data shows the vaccines continue to be highly effective against hospitalization. Get vaccinated and let's end this."
On the vaccine front, 5,514,728 people who live, work, or study in New Jersey are now considered fully vaccinated, with 6,019,427 having received at least a first dose of an FDA-approved shot. Of those vaccinated, 94% are adults age 18 and over, and the other 6% are children ages 12 to 15.
New Jersey reached Murphy's initial goal of 4.7 million fully vaccinated adults in early July, although waning efficacy has now prompted booster shots to begin to be administered to the immunocompromised.
Across the state on Wednesday, 1,766 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, with another 574 probable. The state added 21 new lab-confirmed deaths to its total, now at 24,074, and reported five in-hospital deaths overnight.
Rate of transmission is at 1.19, down from a pandemic high of 1.51 on July 28 but still above the 1.0 benchmark the state has said is a determinant as to whether the coronavirus outbreak is expanding or shrinking.
Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.