As hospitalizations for COVID reach an 8-month high in New Jersey, there is evidence the majority of beds are occupied by the unvaccinated.

State Health officials do not post specific data about individuals that are hospitalized to their COVID dashboard, but Warren County officials are offering a glimpse.

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The county says 45% of all patients being admitted to the local hospital are now infected with coronavirus and three-quarters of them are unvaccinated. None of those admitted to St. Luke's Hospital had received a booster shot. Of the patients needing life-supporting care, none were vaccinated.

Earlier this month, St. Luke's vice president of medical affairs, Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, told lehighvalleylive.com their admissions were being "driven by people who chose not to be vaccinated," and the current surge in admissions was "sadly avoidable."

Numbers are likely similar at other New Jersey Hospitals as we are seeing a continuing surge in new patients being admitted.

On Sunday, New Jersey reported 1,852 people were hospitalized with COVID, including 343 in critical care and 174 on ventilators. The numbers have doubled in a month and have not been this high since last April.

State health officials have predicted by mid-January, as many as 3,500 COVID infected patients could be hospitalized.

While it is true hundreds are being discharged each week after recovering, the pace of admissions continues to outpace the number of new admissions. It is not known if those who have recovered were vaccinated.

The spike in hospitalizations continues to follow a sharp increase in new COVID cases. New Jersey's seven-day average for new positive tests has more than tripled in a month and is now at 5,076 per day and rising.

Despite the increases, Gov. Phil Murphy has not announced any new mandates or restrictions. Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Murphy again promoted vaccinations and booster shots as the way to defeat the virus. When asked if he was considering another lockdown, Murphy said everything remains on the table, but "I don't see it."

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Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

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