Numbers game: N.J. hits 2 big vaccination milestones

More than 90% of eligible Jerseyans have had at least one shot — more than 50% of those eligible have gotten booster

Here’s what we know about COVID-19 as we close in on the second anniversary of the pandemic in New Jersey: The key metrics provide a snapshot of the day — but far from a prediction of tomorrow.

On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy had plenty of good numbers to report.

The state passed the 90% mark for those eligible having at least one vaccination shot;

The state passed the 50% mark for those eligible getting their booster.

And the rate of transmission — the rate at which COVID-19 spreads — is at 0.55, or well below the desired 1.0 or smaller line.

Murphy gave out the numbers at his COVID-19 briefing with a sense of caution.

“Even with these dropping numbers, none of us are yet at a point where we feel totally comfortable,” he said. “We saw last winter how the numbers can quickly turn back around, and we do not want to test that theory with Omicron. So, we have to remain on an extremely vigilant footing.

He was thrilled hospitalizations are at 2,170 — or nearly two-thirds below the Omicron peak of 6,089 on Jan. 11.

And yet: “While we’re pleased to see these trendlines, we know that the staffs in our hospitals are still overwhelmed, and we can’t yet let up on any measures,” he said.

And Murphy noted that the state lost 2,381 to COVID in January alone.

“So, let’s not get lost in this misinformation that Omicron isn’t deadly, because there are nearly 2,400 families who could beg to differ,” he said.