N.J. reports 2,101 COVID cases, 15 deaths as hospitalizations and rate of transmission drop – NJ.com

New Jersey on Saturday reported 2,101 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 15 new deaths, just days days after President Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate that targets 100 million American workers.

The state has reported a total of 27,054 deaths, including 24,305 confirmed fatalities and 2,749 considered probable from the coronavirus as the delta variant continues to be the dominant strain in the state. The highly contagious variant accounted for more than 98% of cases sampled for a four-week span ending Aug. 21. In the final week of that time period, 99.7% of cases sample were the delta variant.

New Jersey has the most coronavirus deaths per capita in the United States.

All of New Jersey’s 21 counties are listed as having “high” rates of coronavirus transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC is recommending people in all 21 counties wear masks for indoor public settings regardless of vaccination rates.

There were 1,070 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or suspected cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals Friday night — 97 fewer than Thursday night. There were 158 patients discharged from hospitals Friday.

Of those hospitalized, 222 were in intensive care (46 fewer than a day earlier), with 111 on ventilators (17 fewer).

New Jersey’s statewide rate of transmission on Saturday continued to drop, dipping to 0.99, from 1.01 the previous day. Any number over 1 indicates that each new case is leading to more than one additional case and shows the state’s outbreak is expanding.

The positivity rate for tests conducted on Tuesday, the most recent day available, was 4.8%. The positivity rate on weekends tends to be higher due to fewer tests being conducted.

At least 8,485 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data.

New Jersey is now reporting more than 5.68 million people who live, work or study in the state have been fully vaccinated. More than 6.2 million people have received at least one dose as the state prepares to administer third doses and booster shots to those fully vaccinated in the coming months, pending approval from the federal government.

The vaccine mandate announced by Biden on Thursday calls for all employers with more than 100 workers to require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.

There are active outbreaks at 151 long-term care facilities in New Jersey, resulting in 571 active cases among residents and 488 among staffers. Those numbers have continued to rise in recent weeks.

In all, the state of 9.2 million residents has reported 971,122 total confirmed cases out of the more than 15.1 million PCR tests conducted since it announced its first case March 4, 2020. The state has also reported 144,537 positive antigen tests, which are considered probable cases.

As of Saturday, there have been more than 224 million positive COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 4.6 million people having died due to the virus. The U.S. has reported the most cases (more than 40.8 million) and deaths (more than 659,600) than any other nation.

More than 5.6 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally.

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Rodrigo Torrejon may be reached at rtorrejon@njadvancemedia.com.

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