On Tuesday, New Jersey reported 772,267 total cases of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — since March 4, when the first case was identified in the state. That represents an increase of 3,158, or more than 0.4% over the total the state reported the previous day.
Of those, 687,386 were lab-confirmed by a PCR test, which looks for the presence of the genetic material specific to the virus and can detect it in small amounts early in an infection. The other 84,881 are considered likely cases found by antigen testing, which usually produces more rapid results and rarely produces false positives.
The rate of transmission was 0.86, staying steady from the previous day. About two weeks into the pandemic in the state, the RT was 5.31, meaning each infected person was spreading the virus to more than five other people.
Lab-confirmed deaths attributed to the virus increased by 104 to 20,689. Deaths are not always reported as confirmed on the same day in which they occur. Including 2,289 probable deaths, the total number believed to have died due to COVID-19 is now 22,978. This brings the state’s COVID-19 death rate to nearly 2.6 per 1,000 people, the highest in the nation. More than 3.3% of all known cases in New Jerseyans have resulted in death.
The number hospitalized on Feb. 22 was 2,047, an increase of 23 from the previous day. The number of patients on ventilators dropped to 281 and the number in intensive care only rose to 170.
The rate of New Jerseyans who have tested positive for the virus is now 77 in 1,000. Bergen County is the county with the most cases, 75,478 — which includes both lab-confirmed and antigen tests — followed by Essex County with 72,100. The greatest infection rate, though, is in Passaic County, where more than one of every 10 residents has or had COVID-19. Essex County continues to have the greatest number of deaths, 2,653 total.
The state is reporting that close to 1.8 million doses of the two available vaccines have been administered. Subtracting those doses given to people who do not live in the state, the rate of New Jerseyans getting at least one dose is 187 per 1,000, or nearly 19% of the population. The rate of people getting both doses is 59 per 1,000. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Feb. 23, New Jersey has received more than 2.1 million vaccine doses and used 83% of them.
Long-term care facilities have been especially hard-hit by the virus and their cases comprise a significant portion of all cases. Cases among long-term care residents alone make up almost 5% of all cases in the state; including staff, nearly 8% of all cases derive from these settings. Deaths attributed to long-term care residents and staff account for nearly 35% of lab-confirmed and probable deaths in the state.
Data on outbreaks at individual facilities was last updated Feb. 22.
Demographic data shows the virus is hitting some age groups, races and ethnicities harder than others, while there is little difference between the sexes. The proportions change little from day to day. NJ Spotlight News updates this every Tuesday.
According to New Jersey labor officials, the state has paid out $22.8 billion in state and federal unemployment benefits due to the pandemic. The state reported that close to 11,600 New Jerseyans filed for unemployment in the week ending Feb. 13, a decrease of about 29% from the prior week. More than 2 million New Jerseyans have filed for unemployment since the start of the pandemic in early March 2020, a record.
The number of people infected worldwide since the outbreak of the disease in late 2019 is close to 112 million, and the number infected in the United States is 28.2 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus tracker. The number of deaths in the U.S. is 502,000. While state health officials are not reporting data about recoveries in the general population, Johns Hopkins’ tracker shows 73,920 New Jerseyans as recovered, which would represent nearly 11% of cases.