The state has earned an unwanted spot in the nation’s fight against COVID-19, leading the U.S. in the number of new infections per capita over the past week. Gov. Phil Murphy confirmed he is hitting the pause button on further reopening the state after highly infectious coronavirus variants surged in New Jersey.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the UK variant B117 currently accounts for 9% of COVID-19 cases in the state; the actual number of cases caused by variants is hard to count because the state lacks a robust testing system to sequence the virus genome. With hospital cases rising, health officials worry about vaccine-resistant variants.