New Jersey reported another 5,095 cases of the coronavirus and 51 additional COVID-19 deaths confirmed on Christmas Day, while the statewide transmission rate fell even further below the main benchmark of 1.
Governor Phil Murphy urged residents to keep meetings small, with only people in their immediate family bubble during the Christmas and New Year celebrations to avoid an increase after the holidays.
“Stay safe while we celebrate the holidays. Social distance. Mask, ”said Murphy in a tweet on Friday.
The state recorded an additional 80 deaths on Thursday.
The transmission rate across the state fell for the 12th consecutive day, from 0.96 to 0.95, the lowest since September 2.
Any number above 1 means that each person receiving COVID-19 is spreading the disease to more than one person, and getting the rate below 1 is considered the key to suppressing the pandemic.
Hospitalizations across the state dropped to 3,669 patients being treated for confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases on Thursday night. This is much smaller than the more than 8,000 patients at the peak of the first wave in April. Hospitalizations have been above 3,500 since December 8.
The number of patients with COVID-19 in intensive care increased from 749 to 753, and the number of ventilators remained the same at 524.
The seven-day average for new daily cases increased on Friday to 4,597. This represents a 4% drop from the previous week, but an increase of 12% over the previous month.
Officials say the highest percentage of new cases – more than 60% – are the result of transmission in private settings and come from across the state.
Since the outbreak began in March, New Jersey has reported 454,902 cases in more than 7.46 million tests administered. These totals do not include rapid tests.
The state of 9 million residents recorded 18,595 deaths – 16,650 confirmed and 1,945 probable deaths from complications related to the virus.
The state on Wednesday reported seven new outbreaks confirmed in schools in New Jersey, which resulted in 31 new cases.
There have already been 105 confirmed outbreaks in schools across the state, resulting in 459 cases among students and staff in 98 schools.
These figures do not include students or staff believed to have been infected outside the school, or cases that cannot be confirmed as outbreaks within the school. Although the numbers continue to rise each week, Murphy said the school outbreak statistics remain below what state officials expected when schools reopened for face-to-face classes.
Extensive school rules, including guidelines for social distance from classrooms and strict mask requirements, have made schools one of the safest places in the state, he said. The governor said that of the 250,563 cases reported across the state since the beginning of the school year, only 2/10 of 1% are “screened for activities within our schools”.
Separated by age, those 30 to 49 years old constitute the highest percentage of New Jersey residents who caught the virus (31.5%), followed by those 50-64 (24%), 18-29 (19%), 65 -79 (11.2%), 80 and older (5.9%), 5-17 (6.7%) and 0-4 (1.4%).
On average, the virus was more deadly for older residents, especially people with pre-existing illnesses. Almost half of COVID-19 deaths in the state occurred among residents aged 80 and over (46.9%), followed by those aged 65-79 (32.6%), 50-64 (15.9%), 30 -49 (4.1%), 18-29 (0.4%), 5-17 (0%) and 0-4 (0.02%).
As of late Thursday morning, there were more than 79.4 million positive COVID-19 tests worldwide, according to a running count from Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.74 million people died of coronavirus-related complications.
The United States reported the majority of cases, with more than 18.6 million, and the majority of deaths, with more than 329,100.
COUNTY NUMBERS BY COUNTY (ranked by most new ones)
- Middlesex County: 42,584 positive tests (511 new), 1,415 confirmed deaths (213 likely)
- Bergen County: 45,064 positive tests (448 new), 2,016 confirmed deaths (260 likely)
- Essex County: 45,459 positive tests (443 new), 2,121 confirmed deaths (242 likely)
- Monmouth County: 29,887 positive tests (443 new), 905 confirmed deaths (100 likely)
- Hudson County: 41,759 positive tests (442 new), 1,514 confirmed deaths (163 likely)
- Ocean County: 30,455 positive tests (375 new), 1,229 confirmed deaths (75 likely)
- Passaic County: 38,839 positive tests (373 new), 1,277 confirmed deaths (149 probable)
- Camden County: 27,150 positive tests (299 new), 722 confirmed deaths (58 likely)
- Union County: 35,396 positive tests (291 new), 1,353 confirmed deaths (174 likely)
- Burlington County: 19,517 positive tests (245 new), 561 confirmed deaths (45 probable)
- Morris County: 19,205 positive tests (225 new), 770 confirmed deaths (175 likely)
- Atlantic County: 11,395 positive tests (170 new), 337 confirmed deaths (18 probable)
- Gloucester County: 13,314 positive tests (151 new), 349 confirmed deaths (10 probable)
- Mercer County: 18,030 positive tests (139 new), 671 confirmed deaths (37 probable)
- Cumberland County: 7,353 positive tests (134 new), 203 confirmed deaths (9 probable)
- Somerset County: 12,030 positive tests (132 new), 570 confirmed deaths (87 likely)
- Warren County: 3,689 positive tests (64 new), 168 confirmed deaths (13 likely)
- Sussex County: 4,095 positive tests (55 new), 168 confirmed deaths (43 likely)
- Hunterdon County: 3,533 positive tests (44 new), 82 confirmed deaths (54 likely)
- Salem County: 2,557 positive tests (37 new), 102 confirmed deaths (5 probable)
- Cape May County: 2,238 positive tests (16 new), 117 confirmed deaths (15 probable)
Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today for NJ.com.