“This is not a talk of closing the country”

The New Jersey Governor’s Office

The number of Covid-19 cases in New Jersey is increasing, but hospitals remain within capacity, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said Monday.

“We’re now seeing the daily caseload reach a level we haven’t seen since mid-January this year,” Murphy said of positive tests since January 2021.

The nationwide percentage positivity is 12.11%.

Still, the governor said, hospital admissions are not increasing at the same rate.

“We are still staying at the level of hospitalizations that is only a fraction of what they were at the time last year, even though the number of recent cases has grown so rapidly,” Murphy said.

“This is only possible because the vaccines prevent even those who have a breakthrough case of infection from developing serious Covid-related disease,” he added.

The state is reporting 1,902 people currently being hospitalized with the virus. Hospital admissions peaked at the start of the pandemic, with 8,270 reported hospital admissions in April 2020.

“We’re a long way from where we were,” said Murphy.

According to state data, 73% of eligible New Jersey residents have received a full primary vaccination, and 40% of those who can receive a vaccination will receive a booster vaccination.

There has been an increase in Covid-19 transmission at school, according to Murphy, with 47 outbreaks linked to transmission at school for the week of December 6 – the latest data available – up from 15 outbreaks three weeks earlier.

Murphy said that despite the increase, “these cases remain rare”.

To this end, Murphy supported the question of a so-called test-and-stay program for students in schools in New Jersey. He and Persichilli said they are preparing a pilot program for such a policy that will allow students known to be close contacts with Covid-positive individuals to have frequent Covid-19 tests instead of quarantine.

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