COVID hospitalization number continues to creep up (2,654); confirmed new cases drop dramatically (8,831)

The state of New Jersey announced Monday that there are 2,654 people hospitalized with COVID-19 — an increase of 194 from the day before and the highest number since Feb. 10.

The number of people on ventilators jumped by 11, to 234.

The good news: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has dropped to 8,831 — or nearly half the 16,626 that were reported on Christmas Day.

By comparison, on Dec. 1 — before the latest Omicron variant surge — the state reported 2,471 confirmed new cases and that 1,029 people were hospitalized, with 98 on ventilators.