N.J. Hospitals Forecast to Break Covid Patient Record Mid-Month
(Bloomberg) -- New Jersey’s latest virus surge is expected to peak on Jan. 14, with a potential record of as many as 9,000 people in hospitals, according to state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
That figure, based on modeling, is about 1,000 more than New Jersey’s highest inpatient count, reached in April 2020.
New Jersey currently has 4,715 Covid-related hospitalizations, the most since May 2020. Children’s admissions reached 102, almost double the figure a week ago, Governor Phil Murphy said.
A year ago on this date, with vaccinations not widely available, New Jersey hospitals were treating 2,810 Covid patients. Just 40% of New Jerseyans eligible for booster shots have opted for them, Murphy said.
“Our hospitals are seeing numbers that we haven’t seen in a year and a half,” Murphy said. Emergency rooms, meanwhile, aren’t equipped to process people seeking routine Covid tests. Persichilli urged residents to sign up online for a free at-home test kit.
Though New Jersey has bed capacity for a surge, hospital staffing numbers are a concern, Murphy said. The state is relying on hospital administrators to pitch in with patient care and has authorized emergency medical technicians to work at vaccination centers, to free nurses and others, Persichilli said.
The governor, a 64-year-old Democrat who will start his second term this month, spoke at a virus update conducted remotely because his wife, Tammy, has tested positive. The governor and other family members were negative. Tammy Murphy has no symptoms, he said.
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