N.J. reports 2,200 COVID cases, 17 deaths, as hospitalizations continue to drop – NJ.com

New Jersey on Saturday reported another 2,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 17 more confirmed deaths, as hospitalizations continued to drop and the transmission rate fell slightly.

The state has seen 27,323 total deaths from the virus in more than 17 months — 24,550 confirmed and 2,773 considered probable, according to the Department of Health dashboard. The probable deaths, which are revised weekly, increased Monday by seven fatalities.

New Jersey’s statewide rate of transmission went to 1.04 Saturday after staying at 1.05 for two days. Any rate of transmission number over 1 indicates that each new case is leading to more than one additional case and shows the state’s outbreak is expanding.

There were 1,068 people hospitalized as of Friday night, according to state data. That’s down by 40 patients the previous night. The number has also mostly leveled out over the past month. There were 122 patients discharged in the 24 hours leading up to Friday night.

Of those hospitalized, 236 were in intensive care (13 fewer than the night before), with 129 on ventilators (three fewer).

The delta variant continues to dominate cases in here, with nearly all of sampled cases in the four weeks ending Sept. 4. For the last week of that span, 100% of the tests sampled showed the delta variant.

School districts in the state have reported 23 in-school outbreaks for a total of 102 cases, according to the state’s dashboard. In-school outbreaks are defined as three or more cases that are determined through contact tracing to have been transmitted between staff or students while at school.

The positivity rate for tests conducted on Monday, the most recent day available, was 4.37%. The positivity rate on weekends tends to be higher when fewer tests are conducted.

More than 5.8 million people who live, work or study in New Jersey have been fully vaccinated as of Saturday. More than 6.37 million people have received at least one dose.

Those who are 65 and older, or are a resident of a long-term care facility, are now eligible for a Pfizer COVID booster shot, along with those between 50 and 64 years old with underlying medical conditions. The Department of Health said late Friday those eligible can immediately sign up to get their shots, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the recommendation.

The Health Department said the shots are only available for people who had their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine six months ago and who fall into certain categories.

All of New Jersey’s 21 counties continue to be listed as having “high” rates of coronavirus transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC is recommending people in all 21 counties wear masks for indoor public settings regardless of the state’s vaccination rates.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter| Homepage

New Jersey has the second most coronavirus deaths per capita in the U.S. The state had long topped the list of most COVID-19 deaths per capita but was recently eclipsed by Mississippi.

At least 8,528 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 are currently active outbreaks at 153 facilities, resulting in 660 current cases among residents and 526 among staffers.

In all, the state of 9.2 million residents has reported 996,378 total confirmed cases out of the more than 15.3 million PCR tests conducted since it announced its first case on March 4, 2020. The state has also reported 149,711 positive antigen tests, which are considered probable cases.

As of Saturday, there have been more than 231.2 million positive COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 4.73 million people having died due to the virus. The U.S. has reported the most cases (more than 42.8 million) and deaths (more than 687,000) than any other nation.

More than 6 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally.

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Rodrigo Torrejon may be reached at rtorrejon@njadvancemedia.com.

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