N.J. has now administered 1M doses of COVID-19 vaccine

New Jersey has now administered more than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents of the state.

Gov. Phil Murphy praised the efforts by all to reach the mark.

“Even with the continued scarcity in supply and the rescheduling caused by snowstorms, we have put 500,000 vaccine doses in arms in a little over two weeks,” he said. “Make no mistake — while this a significant milestone, we have a good way to go to reach our ultimate goal of 4.7 million vaccinated adults by the beginning of the summer.”

In total, New Jersey has now given out more than 1.037 million doses of the vaccine. That breaks down to 813,216 first doses and 224,237 second doses. These numbers have continued to increase, despite many vaccination sites having to be closed for multiple days due to recent snowstorms.

“We are definitely on our way,” Murphy said. “However, we need much greater supply to get the vaccination infrastructure we purpose-built from the ground up working to its fullest potential. Especially in the six mega sites that are capable of vaccinating 10-15,000 people per day.”

In the coming weeks, the increased supply the governor is wishing for will be granted, as the state is due to see its vaccination shipments grow in size under President Joe Biden’s new rollout plan. Commissioner of the Department of Health Judy Persichilli said these new doses will help give the state some predictability in its distribution plan.

“I don’t have the exact numbers with me,” she said. “However, it is a slight increase … they are going to give us the actual number of doses for the next three weeks to give us some predictability for the points of dispensing for the vaccination sites.”

Other notes from Monday’s COVID-19 briefing:

Health metrics

Murphy said there were 2,218 new positive COVID cases through PCR testing for a cumulative total since March of 647,194 cases. Antigen tests confirmed 516 new cases, for a total of 77,534. Murphy said an additional 25 deaths have now been confirmed to be from COVID-related complications. That makes for a total of 19,824 deaths, with an additional 2,187 probable deaths.

In New Jersey’s hospitals Sunday, 255 COVID patients were discharged while 256 others were admitted. And 40 patients died in hospitals, but the state is awaiting lab confirmation before they become officially a part of the COVID death count.

Other hospital numbers:

  • In hospital: 2,814 (2,633 confirmed, 181 awaiting confirmation);
  • In ICU: 540;
  • On ventilators: 373;
  • Rate of transmission: 85;
  • Positivity rate: 5% (from Feb. 4).

Schools update

With one of the strangest school years in recent memory heading towards the last stretch before the summer, Murphy also gave an update on the nearly 811 state-overseen public-school districts, charter schools, renaissance schools and schools for students with disabilities.

“We are reporting a strong and continued movement towards in-person instruction,” Murphy said. “This further supports our work toward making more educators eligible for vaccinations beyond those who are currently eligible, either because of age or health conditions.”

In total, there are currently 95 school districts offering all in-person instruction, 190 offering all-remote, 491 offering a hybrid of the two, and 35 utilizing a mix of all three of these options. All in-person instruction and hybrid instruction are on the way up — the former is up six from Feb. 1, while the latter is up 21 in the same time period.

In-person voting

Murphy said the April 20 school and fire district elections and May 11 municipal elections will have in-person voting options similar to those used in the November 2020 general election.

“We took this step in order to conserve the state’s resources and reduce the burden on local election officials,” Murphy said. “As always, voters will have the ability to request a vote-by-mail ballot for any reason. We will ensure that all in-person polling places adhere to proper health and safety protocols, including face coverings, social distancing and frequent sanitation.”

Final word

Murphy on the status of cannabis legalization:

“Nothing new on the marijuana front. We had very good backs and forths with members of the Legislature — both the leadership as well as members of each chamber. We’re still trying to find our way to that point we all want to get to, which is to get this done. To get it done the right way that both protects our kids from the criminal justice system but also legalizes cannabis in the right, responsible way.”