Of the new strains of the coronavirus, not detected here but in neighboring states Pennsylvania and New York, epidemiologists say they’re no more virulent than the ones that have killed nearly 20,000 in New Jersey and close to 400,000 in America. The new mutations worry health officials because they fear the strains will lead to spikes in cases as states struggle to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people and put the earlier strains in check.
In New Jersey, another 3,511 newly diagnosed cases are reported, 568,573 total cases with 23 more deaths. Hospitalization numbers remain stable (down slightly, at 3,432) a good sign two weeks post-holiday, according to the state health commissioner.
The state is still facing criticism for the pace of the vaccine rollout with 366,010 doses administered as of today, including more than 40,449 second doses.