Another omicron case in NJ/No new COVID restrictions
A second case of the omicron COVID variant has been confirmed in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Department of health confirmed a Monmouth County man tested positive. He had attended the anime convention at the Javitz Center in New York City in November, and fell ill on Nov. 24.
He had only mild symptoms, and has since fully recovered. Health officials say he had been fully vaccinated and had received a booster shot.
Federal health officials had traced an omicron variant to another attendee at the convention, and urged everyone who attended to get an immediate COVID test.
Omicron is now present in at least 25 U.S. states, but the delta mutation remains the predominant strain in America. That is also the mutation that is powering New Jersey's latest surge in new cases.
Despite the rise in infections, Gov. Phil Murphy has not ordered any new restrictions or issued any new mandates. He has continued to promote vaccinations and booster shots as a way to curb this current outbreak.
More than 6.3 million New Jersey residents are considered fully vaccinated and state health officials say they are giving out more than 30,000 booster doses per day. However, we have not seen this many new confirmed cases of COVID since last April.
The state's rate of transmission (r/t) is now at 1.41 and the seven day average for new positive tests is 3,657. That is nearly three times what the rate was just a month ago.
Hospitalizations have now reached 1,522 occupied beds with 279 in need of life supporting care. Hundreds of patients were discharged after fully recovering this weekend, but the pace of admissions remains higher than the pace of discharges.