Today, an additional 1,697 positive COVID-19 cases were announced, the highest amount of daily cases since April, bringing the statewide total to 921,914. Of the new cases sampled in the last four weeks, 90% of cases are the delta variant. The rate of transmission is 1.3, and a positivity rate of 6.54% was reported. 8 additional deaths were announced, increasing the statewide total to 23,952. According to the Department of Health, over 5.37 million residents are now fully vaccinated.
On Monday, Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, once again emphasized the need for NJ residents to receive their first and second doses of the vaccine, focusing on the fact that by being vaccinated, individuals are also protecting children under 12 who can not yet receive the vaccine. Everyone is encouraged to receive the vaccine at one of the countless vaccination sites around the state. You can visit covid19.nj.gov/finder to find a COVID-19 vaccination site.
Commissioner Judy Persichilli also emphasized the fact that with the rise in COVID-19 numbers, the state has also seen an increase of the virus among children. In January, only 0.8% of people under the age of 18 were in hospitals. The rate earlier this week was 2.6%. Lower rates of vaccination mean more cases of COVID-19 among children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has reported that nearly 72,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week of July, which is an increase of 84% compared to the prior week. There have also been long-haul symptoms of the virus shown in children, including fatigue, difficulty concentrating, brain fog, and malaise.
Governor Murphy noted that he signed an Executive Order last Friday, a policy requiring workers and employees in healthcare facilities and high-risk congregate living settings to be vaccinated by September 7th. If not vaccinated by this date, workers and employees will be required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing. Click here to learn more.
Governor Murphy also reiterated that all school students, educators, staff, and visitors will be required to wear masks while in school buildings in this upcoming school year. This will protect the health of children when they return to full time in-person learning. Click here for more information.
County ambassadors will be working with county and local health departments, schools, local and community health centers, and are to hold back-to-school vaccination and testing clinics in some areas. Trenton will be offering free COVID-19 tests and vaccinations in 15 city schools, which will be open to all students, faculty, staff, and family at community centers.
The Governor will hold his next press briefing in 2 weeks, on Monday August 23rd at 1 PM.