For the fourth day in the past week, New Jersey topped 30,000 positive COVID-19 cases in a single day. This comes as the state with one of the highest vaccination rates per capita continues to see breakthrough cases surge.
On Tuesday, the state reported 25,277 new positive PCR tests and 5,137 positive antigen tests.
“As it has been throughout the pandemic, ensuring the ability of our healthcare system to serve those who are the sickest is among our very highest priorities. Over the past week as you can see, we have seen more than a 50% increase in the number of individuals hospitalized for COVID-19 along with significant increases in both ICU and ventilator counts,” Murphy said on Monday. “That’s one half of this equation, albeit, as I said, the half that we’re watching the most closely. The last thing we can allow is for our hospitals to be overrun. The other half, of course, is the staggering numbers of new cases that are being reported every day.”
Murphy said the actual number of cases is much higher as New Jersey residents taking at-home tests are not reporting their test results and most testing kits mailed out by the state are not being returned.
“We know that this is a dramatic undercount as most cases – or as most people, rather, testing positive through at-home test kits are not reporting their test results to local health authorities, so look at this number as a floor,” Murphy admitted.
New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli confirmed that roughly 10% of the at-home Vault test kits being sent to residents are not being returned.
“Over 400,000 tests have been requested but about 40 or 50,000 have been returned,” Persichilli said.