New Jersey logged the lowest number of daily COVID-19 cases seen since Feb. 21, as the latest wave of the virus shows increasing signs of slowing down.
The state recorded 1,948 positive COVID-19 cases most recently, according to numbers Gov. Phil Murphy presented on April 19. The last time New Jersey logged less than 2,000 cases was Feb. 21.
“It’s baby steps … we like the fact that the numbers are slowly beginning to go in a better direction,” the governor said. “It’s too early to declare victory.”
And, the state finally hit past 53% of its goal to fully vaccinate 4.7 million New Jersey adults by June 30, with just over 2.5 million New Jersey adults fully inoculated.
The vaccines are a vital component of permanently rolling back restrictions on businesses, travel and public gatherings, which have been in place this past year to keep the spread of the virus at bay.
For now, the state is reliant on a supply of between 400,000 and half a million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which both require two shots and storage in Arctic-level temperatures. J&J vaccines are only single-dose and require storage in refrigeration-level temperatures, making them a far more attractive option for hard-to-reach populations like the elderly and homeless.
“I continue to believe that Memorial Day brings us to a dramatically different place,” Murphy said.
There were 2,062 COVID-19 patients as of April 18, the sixth day in a row where hospitalizations dropped. A year ago, there were more than 8,300 COVID-19 patients.
The rate of transmission was 0.91, and has gradually declined from 1.07 on April 5. A rate of transmission above 1 means that the virus is spreading.
Murphy warned that this new wave, at a worst-case scenario, could peak between May and June. But a moderate and best-case scenario had called for this wave to peak on April 18 and then gradually coast down over May.
“I think we can be cautiously optimistic,” State Epidemiologist Christina Tan said on April 19, agreeing with Murphy’s assessment that the state was not yet in a position to declare they finally moved past this wave.