NJ COVID Cases Rise Again But There’s Little Concern For Now
Even as the number of new reported COVID cases rises in New Jersey, the CDC Data tracker still lists community transmission rates as "low" for all but one county. Bergen County has been moved to the "medium" level.
State health officials reported another 1,508 COVID cases on Sunday and logged another two deaths blamed on the coronavirus.
Those figures represent a more than 20% increase in a week and a 170% increase in the last 30 days. However, there has yet to be a corresponding spike in either hospitalizations or reports of severe illness.
369 patients are hospitalized with, or for, COVID infections statewide. That is a mere fraction of the more than 6,000 who were hospitalized in January when the omicron wave was at its peak.
The current rate of transmission is at 1.28, which indicates an active spread of the virus. For every 100 infected people, they will infect 128 additional individuals.
This increase is being driven by the BA.2 sub-variant of the Omicron strain. It is more transmissible, but does not cause more severe illness. Current vaccines have also proven effective at preventing serious illness and death.
New Jersey now has 7.77 million people who live, work or study here with at least one dose of vaccine out of 8.46 million who are eligible for the shots. The number of people who have received a booster dose is much smaller.
National and regional trends are similar to what we are seeing in the Garden State, prompting some new restrictions.
Philadelphia begins enforcing its renewed indoor mask mandate today.
The Biden administration has also extended the mask mandate on mass transit and air travel until May 3.
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said on ABC's 'This Week' that only time will tell if that mandate will be extended.
"This is a CDC call," Jha said, "CDC scientists made it very clear that they needed 15 days to assess the impact of BA.2 on hospitalizations and deaths to see if there's a substantial increase in severe disease."