NJ Hits High COVID Transmission Rate, First Time Since April

NJ Hits High COVID Transmission Rate, First Time Since April

NEW JERSEY — All of New Jersey is now under a “high” transmission level of coronavirus, according to the latest rankings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Saturday, Aug. 21.

All 21 counties in New Jersey are now experiencing high transmission of the virus, according to the CDC’s nationwide map of viral spread. The CDC defines high viral spread as more than 100 cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.

The last time all of New Jersey was in a high viral spread zone was April 23, according to the CDC.

The CDC says even fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in public if they live in an area with “substantial” or “high” transmission of the virus.

The news comes as Gov. Phil Murphy, back from his August vacation in Italy, is expected to formally announce Monday that he will require all New Jersey schoolteachers to be vaccinated, state Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex) told Patch last week. Vitale is chair of the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee in the New Jersey Senate.

Last week, the northwest corner of the state — the counties of Sussex, Warren, Morris and Passaic — was in “substantial” transmission, but the entire state moved up to high viral spread by Saturday, according to the CDC.

All U.S. states are now experiencing high viral spread with the exception of Vermont and Maine; they are in substantial spread.

From Aug. 15-Aug. 21, New Jersey reported 13,602 new coronavirus cases. That means that for every 100,000 people in New Jersey, there were 153 new cases last week, according to the CDC. New Jersey also reported 58 COVID-related deaths last week.

Compare that to a state like Louisiana, which had 755 new cases per every 100,000 people, and 144 deaths. Last week Florida had 656 new cases for every 100,000 people last week, and 245 deaths. Georgia is currently experiencing 513 new cases for every 100,000 people and 221 COVID-related deaths last week.

Since the pandemic began, there have been just over one million total COVID cases in New Jersey and about 26,000 COVID-related deaths, according to NJ state Dept. of Health data. Forty five percent (about 12,000) of those deaths occurred in people older than 80, thirty three percent (8,800) in those 65-79 and sixteen percent (4,400) in those 50-64. Four percent (1,100) of those deaths occurred in people ages 30-49.

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