NJ marks 10 months since 1st COVID-19 case; distributes over 100K COVID vaccinations
Jan. 4 marked 10 months since New Jersey reported its first case of COVID-19. It comes as the state announces that it has distributed over 100,000 doses of the virus vaccine.
Data released Monday at the state’s COVID-19 briefing shows that the virus numbers are lower, but Gov. Phil Murphy says that this may be because of the holidays.
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New Jersey reported 2,292 positive COVID-19 tests on Monday – the lowest since Nov. 16. There were also 38 additional COVID-19-related deaths. Officials say that the rate of transmission is now at 0.92.
There are currently 3,633 patients being treated in New Jersey’s hospitals for the virus, with 664 of them in the intensive care unit – a number that has been on the decline since before Christmas. There are 476 COVID-19 patients on ventilators.
There were many questions for the governor at Monday’s briefing about slow COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The state has received 400,000 doses, but only 100,000 have been used.
Murphy and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that they think the number is an undercount. Mostly front-line workers have received the vaccine. Persichilli said an additional 120,000 doses have been set aside for long-term care residents and workers. That leaves a gap of about 180,000 doses, according to the commissioner. She says a lag in reporting, particularly among psychiatric facilities, partly explains why there’s such a gap.
“The numbers I gave you were sent to me this morning directly by the psych hospitals. So, getting into the system has proven to be logistically part of the problem. But other than that, it's people after the holidays that will be lining up,” the commissioner said.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.