What’s in a number? Those in hospitals, on ventilators holding steady

The COVID-19 case numbers are so high now — and changing so dramatically on a daily basis —that it’s hard to put them in perspective.

Consider: On Sunday, the state reported 12,538 new cases — or approximately a 25% drop from Saturday, when there was a record 16,626.

Does this mean cases are dropping? Or, more likely, is the drop based on the fact Sunday’s numbers came from tests on Christmas Day — which all but certainly meant fewer folks were willing to stand in line.

Then there’s this: The 12,538 total is nearly twice the then-record 6,840 reported last Tuesday.

The good news: No matter what the case count, the number of people hospitalized and the number of people on ventilators is holding reasonably steady.

On Sunday, the state said there were 2,462 people in the hospital (up 87 from the day before) and 223 on ventilators (up one from the day before).

The only real takeaway is the same that’s been apparent for some time: Those who are vaccinated are still able to test positive, but far less likely to be hospitalized.

Of note

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla became the third big North Jersey mayor to report he has tested positive for COVID-19, doing so on Christmas Day.

Like Newark’s Ras Baraka and Jersey City’s Steve Fulop, Bhalla said he had minimal symptoms.