Delta variant continues to spread quickly in state

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TRENTON — The Delta variant is already the most spread variant of COVID-19 in the county, the state’s health commissioner said, and is spreading quickly in New Jersey and may overtake the Alpha as the most spread COVID-19 variant.

Over the course of the past four weeks, according to the New Jersey Department of Health, roughly 26 percent of variants sequenced in New Jersey were shown to be the Delta variant. The Alpha variant, originally identified in the United Kingdom in December, is still the most spread variant in the state with 40 percent in that same timeframe.

“There has been a steady rise in this variant, two weeks ago the percentage in the reports doubled and this week it nearly doubled again,” Judith Persichilli, the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health said on Wednesday during a coronavirus press conference.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the Delta variant, first identified in India, has increased transmissibility compared to other strains of the virus. It may also reduce the effectiveness of antivirus treatments and post-vaccination sera.

As the variant spreads throughout New Jersey, the state’s count of fully vaccinated individuals continues to increase.

As of Wednesday, 5,066,929 New Jerseyans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a figure that is made up of 4,915,034 individuals vaccinated in the state and 151,895 vaccinated at out of state clinics.

The increasing number of fully vaccinated individuals, Gov. Phil Murphy said on Wednesday, continues to have an impact on the decreasing number of new cases and deaths.

On Wednesday the state reported 240 new daily cases of COVID-19, and the percent positivity rate of tests was recorded at 1.45 percent, as of last Saturday. There have also been 8 new COVID-related deaths, with 29 in the past week.

“The good news obviously is that we are recording many fewer new cases and deaths in one week than we had been seeing in one day,” Gov. Murphy said. “The steady increase in fully vaccinated residents is a significant driver of these numbers. We could say with near certainty that these new cases are, for whatever reason, people who have not been vaccinated.

“The simple reality is that we do not have a pandemic among the vaccinated, this is only right now a pandemic among the unvaccinated,” he added.

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