New Jersey has released its first COVID-19 numbers for the calendar year of 2021.
On the negative side, daily case positives reached a staggering 5,541, which is not far off the Garden State’s daily record of 6,046 positive cases. This is the second consecutive day that daily cases have exceeded 5,000. This is the first time since December 5th and 6th that cases have exceeded 5,000 for consecutive days.
The number of recorded daily deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, meanwhile, sits at 119. New Jersey has now been home to over 19,000 COVID-related fatalities, a tragic figure in a state that has been hit so hard both economically and socially. The seven day average for daily cases is 4,008, which is undoubtedly a high figure, but nevertheless represents a month-on-month decrease of 2% and a week-on-week decrease of 13%.
In slightly more positive news, both the rate of spread of the coronavirus and statewide hospitalizations have declined for the third straight day. Hospitalizations are now at 3,625 patients, and the rate of transmission is now 0.93; any number below one means that the spread of the pandemic is decreasing, which is a positive development as the state enters the new year. In a tweet releasing these figures, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said, “As we begin the new year, stay vigilant. Social distance. Mask up.”
In a more positive message to New Jersey residents, the governor tweeted, “Grateful for ALL New Jerseyans who stepped up, stayed in, and came together to get us through 2020. A special shoutout to our first responders and those on the front lines of the #COVID19 crisis. On behalf of all nine million of us – THANK YOU.”
The light at the end of the tunnel for New Jersey, as with America as a whole, is the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. Tens of thousands have already been vaccinated, and New Jersey plans to vaccinate 70% of its adult population in the next six months. Speaking on vaccination plans, Governor Murphy said, “We’re rapidly expanding our community vaccination sites, developing an extensive network of locations open to all health care workers and eventually other priority groups.”