Delta is here: CDC says N.J.’s 6 biggest counties now at ‘high’ risk for transmission

(Editor’s note: This report was updated Monday night, Aug. 16. Click here to read the updated report.)

Fourteen of the state’s 21 counties — including the six largest — are now considered “high” risk for transmitting COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bergen, Hudson and Middlesex counties were all added to the list for the weeklong data through Friday, Aug. 13. Those three counties, along with Monmouth, Ocean and Union, are the most populated in the state. The next two in line, Morris and Passaic, are both considered to have “substantial” risk of transmission.

All 21 counties in the state are in either the “substantial” or “high” risk range, meaning they meet the level that the CDC recommends for indoor masking — even for people who are vaccinated.

But the latest data release shows the impact of the highly contagious Delta variant now can be seen throughout the state. Two weeks ago, only one county was listed as “high” risk.

The rise in risk can be seen in the state’s COVID-19 numbers, too. There are now 780 COVID-19 patients in the hospital — and 57 on ventilators. While those numbers are higher than they have been in 2-3 months, they are much lower were during previous surges. The state’s high rate of vaccination — over 5.4 million people now — should be credited.

The other good news: Hunterdon County dropped from “high” to “substantial.”

Here’s a county-by-county list for New Jersey:

  • Atlantic: High
  • Bergen: High
  • Burlington: High
  • Camden: High
  • Cape May: High
  • Cumberland: High
  • Essex: High
  • Gloucester: High
  • Hudson: Substantial
  • Hunterdon: Substantial
  • Mercer: Substantial
  • Middlesex: High
  • Monmouth: High
  • Morris: Substantial
  • Ocean: High
  • Passaic: Substantial
  • Salem: High
  • Somerset: High
  • Sussex: Substantial
  • Union: High
  • Warren: Substantial