NJ COVID latest: Wednesday, June 16, 2021

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks at a news conference at Island Beach State Park in New Jersey on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

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.

Gov. Murphy offers COVID updates

Vaccine latest

As of Tuesday, 4,627,717 New Jersey residents were fully vaccinated against COVID. The governor aims to get 4.7 million residents fully vaccinated by June 30.

Update: New COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths

  • 224 new positive PCR tests
  • 890,696 total PCR tests
  • 82 new positive antigen tests
  • 129,630 total antigen tests
  • 331 patients in our hospitals
  • 79 patients in our ICUs
  • 46 ventilators in use
  • 7 new lab-confirmed deaths
  • 23,667 total COVID fatalities
  • 2,690 additional probable deaths
  • The statewide rate of transmission was 0.91
  • The positivity rate from June 12 was 1.35%

Delta variant in New Jersey

  • The CDC upgraded the Delta variant, first identified in India in December 2020, to a variant of concern.
  • The Delta variant has been detected in 66 countries, including the United States. 
  • There are an increase in cases in New Jersey, but they still make up a small percent of total cases.
  • About 5.1% of variants sequenced in New Jersey in the last four weeks were confirmed to be the Delta variant.
  • Research shows the Delta variant is more transmissible than other variants, including the UK strain.
  • However, vaccines have been reported to be effective at protecting against the Delta variant.
  • “We’re seeing the impact the Delat variant is having in the UK,” and we don’t want that to happen here, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said. “We certainly don’t want to go backwards.”

US COVID-19 deaths hit 600,000, equal to yearly cancer toll

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 600,000 on Tuesday, even as the vaccination drive has drastically brought down daily cases and fatalities and allowed the country to emerge from the gloom and look forward to summer.

NJ ending utility shutoff moratorium

New Jersey’s moratorium on utility shutoffs for customers with overdue bills during the pandemic will end next month, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

NJ schools mask mandate frustrations spill out during hearing

Frustrated parents called on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to relax mandates for mask wearing in schools across the state. The testimony came Friday during an Assembly Republican hearing on masks in schools and featured testimony from mothers and at least one school nurse.

Poll: Americans who refuse COVID vaccine likely won’t change mind

According to the poll published Tuesday by the analytics and advisory company Gallup, 78% say they are unlikely to reconsider their vaccination plans, including 51% who say they are “not likely at all” to change their mind and get vaccinated.

What is happening with the US investigation into COVID-19’s origins?

Once dismissed by most public health experts and government officials, the hypothesis that COVID-19 leaked accidentally from a Chinese lab is now receiving scrutiny under a new U.S. investigation.

Vaccine freebies

New York, New Jersey and several companies nationwide are offering incentives for those who get vaccinated, including free food, drinks and a scratch-and-win ticket where people have the chance to win $5 million.

Latest official indicators

As of Wednesday, there have been 890,696 total positive PCR tests in the state since March 2020, and there have been 23,667 lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths, according to the state Health Department.

COVID-19 timeline: How novel coronavirus spread

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks

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