Latest coronavirus: New Jersey faces record infections if wave goes unchecked

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has warned that new coronavirus infections are expected to increase before summer begins and potentially set new records, if the state is unable to bring cases back under control.

Updated models from the New Jersey Department of Health predict that in a “moderate case” scenario, new infections could reach 5,445 per day on April 18 and, on the same day, hospitalizations could exceed just under. 3,000. New cases are not expected to drop below 3,000 per day “until mid-June at the earliest, while hospitalizations have reportedly declined to just over 1,000 by the day. end of July.

The “high case” model predicts that new infections could exceed 8,000 per day in mid-May and then again in mid-June, while hospitalizations are expected to “settle into a range of 3,500 over the course of the year. of this period.

New Jersey has averaged about 4,400 cases per day over the past week, according to data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up from a record high of 7,877 on January 8.

There are currently 2,463 people in New Jersey hospitals with coronavirus, according to data from the Department of Health. Hospitalizations reached over 3,800 on December 23 during the state’s winter outbreak, but peaked at 8,270 on April 15 last year, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project, when New Jersey was among the states. who were hit hard at the start of the pandemic in the United States.

Murphy reiterated that predictions “were models, not certainties” and that outcomes could be improved through behavioral changes and an effort to “overcome our fatigue and refocus.” But the numbers cast a shadow over a vaccination rollout in the state, which is among the most advanced in the country.

About a third of New Jersey’s 8.9 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, CDC data showed Wednesday. This is the eighth highest rate in the United States and compares to a state average of 29.8 percent. New Jersey has fully vaccinated 18.7% of its total population, the 16th highest in the country and compared to a state average of around 17.4%.

The moderate case scenario modeled by the New Jersey Department of Health makes several assumptions, including an average vaccine efficacy rate of 95% against all variants. The high case model assumes a vaccine efficacy rate of only 65% ​​and that people will “let their guard down in the warmer weather”.

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