At his COVID-19 press briefing today, Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled two projective models from the Department of Health showcasing the potential spread of COVID-19 over the course of the next several weeks.
“While the numbers of projected new cases can and should give us all pause, it is the numbers in our hospitals that are the greatest concern when it comes to determining the steps we need to take as a state,” Murphy said.
According to the Department of Health, in a moderate case scenario, New Jersey would reach a daily high of 5,445 new cases on April 18th. The state would also hit its peak in total hospitalizations (2,669) on the same date.
The number of new cases in this scenario is not expected to drop below 3,000 daily until mid-June at earliest.
This moderate case scenario assumes the number of new hospitalizations follows the rates the state has seen after past religious holidays and expansions of indoor activities. It also takes into account expected increases in vaccinations, and assumes vaccines average 95% efficacy against all variants.
Conversely, a high case scenario assumes the state’s vaccination program continues at its current pace, but vaccines only ultimately prove 65% effective. It also assumes that people lower their guard as the weather warms up, and the rate of hospitalizations from holidays and reopenings is above what the state has seen in the past.
In this scenario, New Jersey would hit a high in new cases of more than 8,000 daily in mid-May and again in mid-June. Hospitalizations in this scenario would settle into a range of 3,500 from mid-May into mid-June, numbers that would set the state back to where it was this past December and January.
“Remember, these are models, not certainties,” Murphy said. “We can change the trajectory of the models through our behavior. The more vaccinations we administer, the better we can make the model.”
As of this morning, there have been 4,225,964 total COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the state.
Nationally, New Jersey ranks 3rd in vaccine supply administered (88.4%), 8th in daily doses administered (93,733), and 8th in percentage of population having received at least one dose (32.7%).
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