New Jersey reported another 2,218 positive PCR tests Monday, as well as 516 new positive antigen tests. State officials said the numbers were likely lower than they should have been because of a lab-reporting issue. The state has now recorded 647,194 positive PCR tests and 77,534 positive antigen tests.
The positivity rate for PCR tests taken on Thursday was 8.5%. The statewide rate of transmission was 0.85.
There were 2,814 coronavirus patients in New Jersey hospitals, including 540 patients in critical care and 373 requiring ventilators. Hospitals discharged 255 patients.
Another 25 residents died from coronavirus complications. There have now been 22,011 confirmed fatalities and another 2,187 probable deaths from the virus.
State tops 1M vaccine shots administered
Public officials celebrated Monday as New Jersey hit a milestone: More than one million vaccine doses have gone to residents, workers, and students across the state. As of mid-morning, 1,037,657 had been administered.
“Even with the continued scarcity in supply and the rescheduling caused by snowstorms, we have put 500,000 vaccine doses in arms in just a little over two weeks,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “This is definitely forward progress.”
Still, only 224,237 of the shots have been the second doses required for the vaccine to be its most effective against the virus.
Upcoming local elections will be in-person
The upcoming school and fire district elections on April 20, as well as the municipal elections on May 11, will be held with in-person voting, Murphy said.
The November general election was held primarily by mail as a coronavirus precaution, though residents were permitted to cast a provisional ballot in person if they opted to.
Murphy said he made the decision based on a decreasing rate of new coronavirus infections, an uptick in vaccinations, and the warmer weather ahead.
“This is very different than the situation we confronted last summer, when we had to make a decision on the November election knowing that our models showed a huge surge of COVID cases in the fall, which unfortunately came to pass,” he added.
Voters can still request a mail ballot for the upcoming elections if they prefer.
Murphy said he had not yet made a decision on how the June primary election would be conducted.
U.K. variant reaches 31 cases in N.J.
New Jersey has now recorded 31 cases of the coronavirus variant first discovered in the United Kingdom.
Health officials said the variant, known as B.1.1.7., is not deadlier than the more common strain of coronavirus, but it may be more contagious.
The cases are spread across New Jersey, though 12 of them were reported in Ocean County.
Only three people identified to have the U.K. variant in New Jersey have a known travel history.