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29 COVID deaths, 1,366 cases in New Jersey as in-school outbreaks rise

29 COVID deaths, 1,366 cases in New Jersey as in-school outbreaks rise

New Jersey on Wednesday reported another 1,366 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 29 more confirmed deaths as in-school outbreaks and cases across the state soared.

The states seven-day average for newly confirmed positive tests has fallen to 1,402, down 7% from a week ago and 22% from last month.

Gov. Phil Murphy said during his afternoon coronavirus briefing that "looking at the most recently reported positive cases, we are seeing a moderation of new cases." This doesnt necessarily mean that were not going to have one-day spikes and this is why transmission is built on a seven- day curve, not merely based on one day spike rates - but we are seeing more and better trends, he said.

School districts in New Jersey have reported at least 96 in-school outbreaks, or 521 cases in total. Thats an increase of 27 new outbreaks since last week, and a 69% increase in total cases.

As a reminder, this dashboard tracks COVID outbreaks that result in three or more infections and are determined to have been caused by in-school activities, Murphy said. We are well aware that additional students, educators, and staff may have been exposed and infected during social gatherings or other forms of community spread. These cases are not tracked on our dashboard and the layered approach to safety that we have employed across all of our schools is designed to prevent these instances of community spread from turning into in-school outbreaks.

In-school outbreaks are defined as three or more cases determined by contact tracing to have been passed on to staff or students while at school. They don't include the total cases among staff and students.

The statewide transmission rate is 0.94, up slightly from 0.93 on Tuesday. Any transmission rate below 1 indicates that each infected person is passing the virus to less than one other person and the outbreak is no longer expanding.

Murphy also gave an update on 33,963 breakthrough COVID-19 cases among those fully-vaccinated in the state. 672 patients have been admitted to hospital (0.01% of the state's total vaccinated population) and 182 have died (0.003% of fully screened).

According to state data, 895 people were hospitalized with coronavirus-related deaths as of Tuesday night in 70 of the state's 71 hospitals. One hospital did not provide any data.

The number of patients has mostly decreased over the last month, with only minor increases and decreases.

In the 24 hours leading up to Tuesday night, 117 patients were discharged. . 219 of those hospitalized were in intensive care, with 117 of them on ventilators.

The statewide positivity rate for tests conducted Saturday, the most recent day available, was 5.72%. The positivity rate is usually higher on weekends, when less tests are performed.

The delta variant of the virus has dominated cases in New Jersey, with nearly all of them detected in the four weeks ending Sept 18.

State officials warned last week that COVID-19 cases will increase significantly as the weather cools, especially after Thanksgiving.

Still, Murphy has stated that the state will be aided by relatively high vaccination rates, and state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that she expects hospitals to be capable of handling an increase in patients.

More than 5.93 million New Jersey residents who live, work, or study have now been fully vaccinated.

We met the threshold of 75% of all eligible individuals ages 12 and older who live, work, or study in New Jersey having completed a vaccination course, Murphy said. We are now one of only seven states to top 75%, said he added.

More than 6.65 million people have received at least one dose, and more than 260,500 people receive third-doses or boosters.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all but six of New Jersey's 21 counties are listed as having high coronavirus transmission rates. Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, and Union counties have all been downgraded to substantial transmission. CDC is recommending that all people in all 21 counties, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks for indoor public areas.

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New Jersey, an early epicenter of the epidemic, has now reported 27,653 COVID-19 deaths in just over 19 months 24,850 confirmed and 2,803 considered probable, according to the state dashboard. Thats the second-most coronavirus deaths per capita in the United States.

Out of the more than 15.71 million PCR tests conducted since it announced its first case on March 4, 2020, the state has reported 1,021,272 confirmed cases out of a total of 1,011,272. The state has also reported 154,643 positive antigen or rapid tests, which are considered probable cases.

According to state data, at least 8,570 of the states COVID-19 deaths have occurred among residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. At 167 facilities, there are active outbreaks, with 718 current cases among residents and 609 among staff.

There have been 30267 COVID-19 cases among fully vaccinated individuals in New Jersey as of September 20. Only 629 of those have been hospitalized and 158 have died.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 238.8 million positive COVID-19 cases reported across the world, with more then 4.86 million people dying due to the virus as of Wednesday. The United States has the most deaths and infections (more than 716,800) and the highest number of deaths (over 44.5 million) than any other country.

There have been more than 6.52 billion vaccine doses administered worldwide.

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Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @johnsb01.

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