Latest coronavirus updates in New Jersey: Friday, January 22, 2021

Coronavirus
New Jersey phil murphy coronavirus

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy holds a coronavirus briefing.

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 gave an update on New Jersey’s COVID-19 response. Watch in video below.

Vaccines in NJ

  • Vaccines administered in two categories:
    • Pharmacies administer doses to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The state does not control them. (Federal)
    • Vaccines controlled by the state
      • State has gotten 50-70% of vaccines to people.

Daily health indicators

  • New cases: 3,694 (Statewide total: 584,291)
  • 3,328 people are hospitalized, 638 are in ICUs and 445 are on ventilators.
  • New deaths: 118 (Death toll: 18,754)
  • The daily percent positive for test: 10.1%
  • The statewide rate of transmission: 1.04
  • Vaccines administered: 500,222

Unemployment in NJ

  • 1.9 million initial claims
  • $300 checks have been sent to more than 500,000 New Jerseyans

Health commissioner’s update

  • Remaining state’s two mega sites opened Friday.
  • Can accommodate as many as 3,000 to 5,000 people daily
  • Appointments required at all vaccination sites
  • 2 confirmed COVID-19 UK Variants identified in NJ READ MORE.
    • Ocean County resident in his 60s had no travel history or no clear exposure to anyone who was ill. Never hospitalized, symptoms have since recovered.
    • Young traveler staying in northern New Jersey. Tested on Jan. 11 in NYC is asymptomatic.

Q&A

  • Gun sales increased due to pandemic.
    • When we had a distinction between essential and non-essential, we ultimately decided it was essential.
  • How many counties using state site to make appointments for vaccine.
    • Unsure, will get answer later.
  • State says vaccine sites should make appointment for second doses, but many said they were given no guidance. How are they able to get second dose. Will they have to compete with people getting their first dose?
    • Gov: Will have to look at specifics. The first and second dose appointments should not be in competition with each other.
    • We do have allocations for second doses.
  • How many vaccine doses have been thrown out. Does state require sites to report vaccine waste?
    • We cannot be throwing anything out right now. As long as they’re stored properly, they have a significant shelf life.
    • We track every vial and every lot number. At this point, well under 1% is wasted broken vials — that’s reportable.
  • Why only 50-70% of vaccines administered only? Will you talk to pharmacies and figure out why they’re only at 10%
    • You’re chopping appointments.
    • Pharmacies: they schedule facilities and get the allocations, put that to the side. That part appears to work. Governor believes this is a question of manpower.
  • Vaccines for long-term care
    • Of the 750,000 doses we’ve received over time and those we expect, about 400,000 is put aside for those in long-term care.
  • Should gov’t consider incentives to get people to get vaccinated?
    • We don’t have the money. We also don’t need to with all the people signing up.
  • Biden’s EO gives states power to have national guard assist COVID-19 response.
    • Yes, but we’re not waiting for the EO to go into effect. National Guard is already in the mix.
  • Can state have power to enforce or alter terms of vaccines with pharmacies to speed inoculations
    • The big move is putting more bodies on the task. We could go into talks with them.
  • College students and professors — where do they fall on vaccine eligibility.
    • All education is on our list of essential individuals. We just don’t have vaccines. So we can’t pull it up and make more people eligible.
  • Debate with other states using second doses for first doses with shortage?
    • This doesn’t get to 95% effectiveness if both shots are not administered. We’ll do everything we can to avoid stalling of second dose vaccinations.

Happening today

  • The last two vaccine mega sites open Friday at the Meadowlands and Atlantic City Convention Center, but both are already fully booked. Watch more above.

Latest official numbers
As of Friday, there have been 584,291 confirmed cases in the state since March, and there have been 18,754 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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