New Jersey health commissioner expects COVID-19 uptick between Thanksgiving and Christmas

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TRENTON, NJ – Dr. Fauci has reversed course on his statement about Christmas gatherings this year, but New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli has not. On Friday, as New Jersey is winding down its third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, brought on by the delta variant, Persichilli gave an ominous prediction.

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She expects a fourth wave of COVID-19 to hit the Garden State during the holidays.

“Right now, we expect an uptick. We expect it to occur after Thanksgiving, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we do expect it to be, based on what we know right now, within a range that can be handled – the capacity be handled very well by our hospitals,” Persichilli said.

Persichilli said modeling data used by the New Jersey Department of Health is pointing in the direction of an increase of infections as people begin celebrating the holidays together.

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Last week, Fauci said it’s too soon to tell whether or not Americans would be able to celebrate indoors together. Days later, he walked back his comments and urged Americans to safely visit their loved ones, because that’s what he’ll be doing too.

“First on the predictive modeling, every two weeks we look at our assumptions around predictive modeling and we do expect – particularly after Thanksgiving, if we compare ourselves today to what happened last year, we do expect an uptick,” Persichili said. ” I can say with the decreasing hospitalizations and steadying of the cases, the predictive modeling we’ve just done is far different than it was even three weeks ago, and that’s why we update it every two weeks. The assumptions are based on the efficacy of the vaccines, the recommendations that are coming out of the CDC on who can get vaccinated and when and the impact of those vaccinations, the current hospitalizations as a source of truth on the data and how that impacts both upward to the cases and also downward to ICU and ventilators.”

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