COVID-19 cases are on the rise in New Jersey, and just as concerning as high numbers is the concern that the decline will be slow.
The Garden State ranks third in the nation for hospitalizations per 100,000, and seventh in deaths, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said.
But why is this happening during the state’s vaccine push?
Dr. Shareef Elnahal is the president and CEO of University Hospital in Newark.
He told the PIX11 Morning News variants — like the UK variant we’ve heard so much about — are the chief reason for a rise in cases. But there’s good news: hospital discharges numbers have kept up with an increase in admissions, primarily because younger people are being admitted and are rebounding more quickly, he said.
Plus, evidence suggests the vaccines can hold their own against the known variants. Without vaccines, he said, the surge happening right now would be even greater.
The new case numbers are primarily due to “young people” — many of which haven’t yet been vaccinated like their older counterparts, and may have eased up on mitigation habits.
But Elnahal provided a little clarity: those “young people” are people in their 20s and 30s, and also Americans in their 40s and 50s, too.
Watch more on rising cases from PIX11’s Shirley Chan: