By: Matt McGovern, MPH, CHES, LINCS COVID-19 Epidemiologist/Data Manager
As of Sunday, 10/23/22, the 7-day average of cases in the state of New Jersey was 1,258, which was down 4% from a week ago, and 27% down from a month ago. In addition, the statewide transmission rate was 0.95. Thus, this rate of transmission signifies that each new case is leading to fewer than one additional case. Additionally, Morris County is still in the medium threshold of COVID-19 community levels due to the lower number of COVID-19 cases. Hospitalizations and deaths are also imperative metrics to follow in respect to COVID community levels. Currently, CDC forecasts project that on 11/4/22, New Jersey will range between approximately 40 to 310 new hospital admissions. On 11/4/22, deaths are projected to be at approximately 15 to 70 new deaths. There are not case forecasts available via the CDC website for New Jersey.
The COVID-19 cases in New Jersey continue to be solely attributed to the omicron variant, with its subvariants comprising all cases. According to the most recent COVID-19 Variant Surveillance Report (week ending October 1, 2022), BA.5 is the most common omicron subvariant sequenced in the last four weeks (80.7%) followed by BA.4.6 (13.8%), BA.4 (1.8%), BF.7 (1.4%), BA.2.75 (0.9%), BA.2.75.2 (0.7%), and BA.2 (0.5%). In the U.S., BA.5 is also the predominant variant comprising 62.6% of cases.
More than 4.3 million people in New Jersey are “up to date” with their COVID-19 vaccinations, meaning that they received their primary series dose(s), and booster dose. For context, there are 7.96 million NJ residents who have received a first dose, and 7.09 million who are fully vaccinated. With the winter season rapidly approaching it is important to get a COVID-19 bivalent booster dose, which combines the omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components with the first COVID vaccine (Wuhan spike protein variant), which was a monovalent vaccine. This bivalent vaccine will better protect from waning immunity by targeting variants that are more transmissible and immune evading. The CDC recommends that people ages 5 years and older receive one updated (bivalent) booster if it has been at least 2 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, whether that was:
- Their final primary series dose, or
- An original (monovalent) booster
- People who have gotten more than one original (monovalent) booster are also recommended to get an updated (bivalent) booster.
To learn more about COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, please see below for further resources:
- COVID-19 Testing:
- Testing Sites within and near Morris County: https://www.morriscountynj.gov/Residents/Health/Coronavirus/Testing-Sites
- Free, Public COVID-19 Testing Sites by County in NJ: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/testing-and-treatment/where-can-i-get-free-public-covid-19-testing-or-treatment
- COVID-19 Vaccines:
- Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html
- COVID-19 Immunization Schedule for All Age Groups (6 Months Old and Older): https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/COVID-19-vacc-schedule-at-a-glance-508.pdf .
- COVID-19 Vaccination Sites within and near Morris County: https://www.morriscountynj.gov/Residents/Health/Coronavirus/Vaccination-Sites
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