6 more N.J. counties have high levels of COVID transmission, CDC says – NJ.com
Just four of New Jersey’s 21 counties are below the highest risk threshold for coronavirus transmission, as eight counties saw their rates rise.
Seventeen counties have “high” rates of coronavirus transmission while the remaining four have “substantial” transmission, meaning masks are recommended for indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status in all New Jersey counties, the CDC says. The updated map is based on virus transmission rates over the past week.
That number has risen substantially since the start of August, when just ten counties had virus levels high enough to warrant masks. Virus rates surpassed the threshold for masks to be recommended in all counties last week.
The four counties now considered to have “substantial” levels of COVID-19 activity are Warren, Morris, Sussex, and Passaic. All other counties are considered “high,” the next step up.
The categories are based on a combination of new cases per 100,000 people and the COVID-19 test positivity rate over the previous seven days.
The masking recommendations were issued earlier this month amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, which has become the predominant strain of the virus. The CDC cited concerns of increased risks of transmission, even among those who are fully vaccinated.
The Garden State’s seven-day average for newly confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 1,461. That’s up 24% from a week ago and nearly 341% from a month ago as officials say the highly transmissible delta variant continues to drive increases, especially among unvaccinated people.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect an update in the data.
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