Latest coronavirus updates in New Jersey: Friday, January 29, 2021

Coronavirus
Virus Outbreak New Jersey

FILE- In this May 18, 2020 file photo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy wears a face mask during a coronavirus press briefing in Trenton, N.J. (Jose F. Moreno/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool, File)

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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. Phil Murphy held a coronavirus briefing. Watch the news conference below or click here.

  • Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli is self-quarantining after a member of her staff tested positive for COVID-19.

Vaccines and new cases update

  • 724,371 vaccinations administered statewide as of Friday morning – an increase of 43,770 from Thursday.
  • 5,023 new positive PCR tests reported Thursday
  • 615,202 total positive PCR tests since March
  • 1,186 new positive antigen tests reported Thursday
  • 72,067 total positive antigen tests
  • New Jersey now has 37,100 more vaccinations than the total number of reported cases.
  • “We’ve now put more shots in arms than we’ve had total confirmed and presumed positive test results,” Murphy said. “The difference is only going to grow as we’re averaging about 20,000 more vaccinations daily than we’re recording new cases.”
  • As the federal government increases New Jersey’s allotment, the state will be able to open up for more appointments.

Daily indicators

  • 83 new lab-confirmed fatalities
  • 19,254 death toll since March
  • 3,116 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide
  • 548 patients in ICUs
  • 378 ventilators in use
  • 363 patients discharged on Thursday
  • 361 COVID-positive patients admitted on Thursday

Vaccine scheduling issue

  • The state is aware of a technical issue on the New Jersey Vaccine Scheduling System online portal that caused double-booked appointments on Thursday.
  • “A number” of appointments had to be canceled because they were mistakenly double-booked.
  • “We will work with those canceled on rescheduling their appointments at the nearest available time,” Murphy said. “We regret the confusion this technical issue caused, and we’re working with our vendor to address the root cause and that this does not happen again.”

Second dose issues follow-up

  • If you received your first vaccination dose through an appointment you made online at http://covid19.nj.gov/vaccine, your second dose appointment has been automatically scheduled and you will receive an email confirmation regarding this by Saturday.
  • If you received your first vaccination dose through an appointment directly with a vaccine site, that provider should be reaching out to schedule the second dose appointment.
  • If you are unsure of how to schedule your second-dose appointment, call the state’s toll-free vaccine hotline: 1-855-568-0545.

Long-term care vaccine update:

  • 1,270 first clinics scheduled; 927 completed
  • 1,245 second clinics scheduled; 156 completed
  • 113,275 total vaccinations administered

Johnson & Johnson vaccine

  • According to the data released, the vaccine provides complete protection against hospitalization and death after 28 days.
  • “These numbers cannot be overlooked,” Murphy said.
  • Should the FDA grant Emergency Use Authorization, and the CDC provides an appropriate recommendation, a vaccine that requires one dose and does not need cold-chain storage could be a game-changer, Murphy said.

Youth sports

  • Interstate youth indoor sports competitions are still banned in New Jersey.
  • Interstate travel and associated activities among teams are particularly risky, Murphy said, as those settings create new opportunities for the COVID-19 to spread.

Health care enrollment

  • Reminder: New Jersey extended the time for eligible uninsured residents to enroll in health insurance to May 15, through a COVID-19 special enrollment period.
  • Find an affordable plan: getcovered.nj.gov

Unemployment update

  • Over the last week, there was a slight decrease in initial unemployment filings – the second-consecutive week of decline.
  • The state Labor Department oversaw the distribution of the third week of the federally provided $300 supplemental payment to nearly 600,000 workers.

Child care updates

  • The state is extending COVID-19 child care assistance programs through the end of February.
  • The state will also continue to waive co-pays for the child-care subsidy program for parents who request it due to impacts from COVID-19.
  • Learn more: childcarenj.gov

Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day

  • The state has increased the EITC to 40% of the federal level, and lowered the eligibility age to 21.
  • Learn more: njeitc.org

Meadowlands vaccine megasite
Gov. Murphy toured the Meadowlands vaccine megasite after it was temporarily closed due to a vaccine shortage. Watch video in the player above.

Latest official numbers
As of Friday, there have been 687,269 confirmed cases in the state since March, and there have been 19,254 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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