N.J. reports 1,637 new COVID cases, 3 deaths; 4 counties have ‘high’ levels of virus, CDC says – NJ.com

New Jersey health officials on Friday reported another 1,637 COVID-19 cases and three new confirmed deaths.
Those numbers were offset by some promising news: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lowered the number of counties it considers to have ‘high’ community levels of COVID-19 from seven to four Friday.
The CDC considers four counties in the state to have “high” community levels of the coronavirus: Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem.
The remaining 17 counties have “medium” community levels. Case counts and hospitalization numbers by region determine each county’s community level, according to the CDC.
The statewide rate of transmission on Friday was 0.87, officials reported. A transmission rate of 1 means the number of cases have leveled off, while anything below 1 means the outbreak is declining.
New Jersey’s seven-day average for confirmed positive tests is 1,451 — down 4% from a week ago and down 23% from a month ago.
There were 1,302 patients with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases reported across the state’s 70 hospitals Thursday night. Of those hospitalized, 135 are in intensive care and 52 are on ventilators.
The statewide positivity rate for tests conducted Sunday, the most recent day for which data is available, was 13.85%.
The CDC considers positivity rates above 10% to be “high.” New Jersey’s statewide positivity rate is substantially lower than its peak of 40.83% on Jan. 1, 2022, during the height of the omicron variant.
New Jersey has reported more than 2.5 million total confirmed COVID-19 cases since it announced its first known case on March 4, 2020.
The Garden State has also recorded 483,096 positive antigen or rapid tests, which are considered probable cases. There are also numerous cases that were likely never counted, including at-home positive tests that are not included in the state’s numbers.
The state of 9.2 million residents has reported 35,774 COVID-19 deaths — 32,658 confirmed fatalities and 3,116 probable ones.
New Jersey has the 10th-most coronavirus deaths per capita in the U.S. as of Jan. 9.
More than 7.1 million people who work, live or study in New Jersey have reached fully vaccinated status. More than 8 million people have received a first dose since vaccinations began in the state on Dec. 15, 2020.
More than 4.3 million people in the state eligible for boosters have received one.
At least 10,008 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 the most recent state data.
Of the active outbreaks at 446 facilities, there are 12,237 current cases among residents and 7,842 cases among staff, as of the latest data.
There have been more than 670 million COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus database.
More than 6.8 million people have died because of the virus, the data shows. The U.S. has reported the most cumulative cases (more than 102 million) and deaths (at least 1.1 million) of any nation.
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Camille Furst may be reached at cfurst@njadvancemedia.com.
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