Covid NJ: Summer Re-Opening Plus Too Few Vaccinations Equals An Increased Transmission Rate

Source: NJ Spotlight

New Jersey’s COVID-19 statistics continued to head south today, with yet another jump in new confirmed cases and a big increase in the transmission rate of the virus.

  • The report of new infections rose 17% over yesterday’s total and are now more than double what was seen at the beginning of this month.
  • The rate of transmission rose to 1.24 — the highest it’s been since the day before Thanksgiving, at the beginning of the second wave of the coronavirus.
  • That means that, for every four infections, five more people will also test positive — a pace that if left unchecked could presage a large-scale resurgence.
  • There was some good news in hospitalizations — the statistic most closely monitored by officials — which continued to hover just over 300 as they have for more than a week.
  • The upward trend is also being seen on the national level, where today’s daily report of new cases was up by more than 25,000 for a fourth straight day, a mark not hit since May, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
  • The head of the federal Centers for Disease Control warned that the numbers bespeak a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and urged all who have failed to roll up their sleeves to do so.
    • In televised remarks, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky echoed similar statements by Gov. Phil Murphy who’s said recently that virtually all the case and hospitalization numbers seen in NJ are among unvaccinated people.
    • “Our biggest concern is that we are going to continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations and, sadly, deaths among the unvaccinated,” Walensky said.
    • The CDC director also said that the vaccines in use in the US are effective in preventing serious illness and death, even in people who become infected with the delta variant, a more transmissible mutation first seen in India and now the dominant strain in the US.
    • She urged those who have received only one shot of the Pfizer and Moderna two-dose vaccines to get fully immunized.
  • Here in New Jersey, the mass-immunization campaign continues to build, more than two weeks after officials reported hitting the state’s initial target of fully vaccinating 4.7 million people.
    • 5,150,751 people in New Jersey have now been fully vaccinated — up more than 9,000 overnight.
    • Of those, 4,996,621 have received their shots at locations within NJ.
    • 5,592,636 initial doses — including more than 385,000 of the one-shot J&J vaccine — have been administered within NJ, up more than 7,500.
    • A total of 10,205,616 shots have been delivered here, up by more than 15,000 overnight.
    • An ongoing tally of NJ residents who have been fully vaccinated at locations out of state and through federal programs now stands at more than 154,000.
  • One of the state’s largest health-care systems today announced that it will require its employees to become fully vaccinated by Nov. 15 or face termination.
    • In making the announcement, Hackensack Meridian Health — which comprises 17 hospitals and 34,000 employees — joins other health networks in the state, including RWJ Barnabas Health, in mandating vaccinations among workers.
    • 70% of HMH workers are currently immunized, the health-care network said.
    • Exemptions will be granted on a limited basis to those with legitimate medical concerns or religious objections.
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