Latest coronavirus updates in New Jersey: Friday, January 15, 2021

Coronavirus
Virus Outbreak Economy

FILE – In this Monday, June 29, 2020, file photo, Bigard Ogbonna, right, checks a customer’s temperature before they enter a store at the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, N.J., as New Jersey’s indoor shopping malls reopened from their COVID-19 pause. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW JERSEY — Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New Jersey. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page.

1 p.m. – Gov. Murphy remakrs

Daily Indicators

  • 310,595 statewide vaccinations
  • 5,490 new positive tests; 616,086 total cases
  • 9.63% positivity rate
  • 452 patients discharged from hospitals; 427 new admissions
  • 67 confirmed deaths; 18,229 total deaths

Vaccine eligibility

  • Murphy pushed back on criticism that the state is vaccinating smokers before other groups, like teachers or grocery store workers.
  • Medical fact that COVID-19 is a respiratory virus
  • Smoking puts someone at higher risk of a more severe case
  • First priority must be vaccinating highest risk people
  • Warned against comparing groups of individuals
  • Said many essential workers are being vaccinated due to chronic illness, age, or other eligible reasons
  • What prevents people from lying about smoking? Gov. said this will not be enforced but told New Jerseyans to do the right thing
  • Call center is opening for those without internet access/elderly; central number to be announced soon

Vaccination sites

  • Edison mega-site began vaccinations Friday at NJ Convention and Exposition Center
  • Burlington County site also online
  • Four of the six state mega-sites are open; remaining two set to open next week
  • Register and get more info at covid19.nj.gov/vaccine
  • Mega-sites will allow all patients; county sites will give priority to residents of their counties
  • Mobile sites will be deployed to vulnerable communities to limit racial disparities

Supply and demand

  • Federal supply remains a major issue
  • NJ officials working with outgoing Trump administration and incoming Biden administration
  • State can handle 470,000 vaccinations per week, but only receives about 100,000 from feds
  • NJ goal is to vaccinate 4.7 million in 6 months

State offices will be remote Wednesday out of an abundance of caution due to inauguration security concerns

Latest official numbers
As of Thursday, there have been 549,840 cumulative cases in the state since March, and there have been 18,162 lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths, according to the state Health Department.

To find the nearest free COVID-19 testing location, click here.

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks.

Call New Jersey’s coronavirus hotline at 1-800-222-1222. You can also click here for additional information

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