New Jersey health officials announced Thursday that there were 6,271 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest one-day total since Jan.13 — the peak of last winter’s surge, which came just weeks after vaccinations began.
The good news: While hospitalizations are up, they are well below a year ago.
On Thursday, the state said there were 1,756 patients hospitalized Wednesday night with COVID-19 — which is less than half the total of a year ago.
That being said, the metrics are not good. As of Wednesday:
- There were 335 patients in intensive care (up seven in 24 hours);
- There were 155 patients on ventilators (an increase of nine);
- The transmission rate was 1.26 (down from 1.29, but still well above 1.0, which indicates the virus is spreading).
The numbers come a year and day following the first vaccination in the state. Gov. Phil Murphy and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Tuesday that vaccination continues to be the key to fighting the pandemic.
“Over the last year, we have learned that vaccines are the best tool we have in preventing hospitalizations and death, and millions of New Jerseyans have rolled up their sleeves to protect themselves, their families and their communities,” Murphy said. “However, with data showing waning immunity over time, we encourage all New Jerseyans ages 16 and older to receive a necessary booster dose to enhance their protection against COVID-19.”
According to the state, more than 7 million New Jerseyans have received at least their first dose, and more than 6 million have completed their primary vaccination course. Additionally, 1.5 million eligible New Jerseyans have received their booster dose.
Having a booster may now be the new definition of fully vaccinated.
“With waning immunity and increased holiday travel and gatherings, it is critical for everyone to maintain their protection against this virus,” Persichilli said. “Over 4.7 million people are eligible for booster doses in New Jersey, and yet, only about 37% have gotten that additional shot of protection so far. We must do better.”