New CDC Guidance for Areas of High & Substantial Transmission
On Thursday, July 27th, the state reported over 1,000 new COVID-19 positive cases, which was the first time that New Jersey has exceeded a count of 1,000 new positive cases in a single day in more than two and a half months.
This past Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also updated its guidance for fully vaccinated people. This guidance recommends that masks be worn in indoor public settings in areas of high and substantial transmission, regardless of vaccination status. Based on the CDC’s data tracker, this guidance refers to nearly two-thirds of all counties in the United States and 10 NJ counties. Currently, Monmouth County is the only county in NJ which has a high transmission rate, while Bergen, Essex, Union, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Atlantic, Gloucester, and Passaic counties have substantial transmission rates.
The CDC announced this recommendation based on new cases per 100,000 people, test positivity rates over the previous seven days, and new data that was published in the in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. This report found that the Delta variant resulted in similarly high SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated people, which raises a concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant can transmit the virus.
In the state’s most recent COVID-19 Variant Surveillance Report, the Delta Variant accounts for approximately 75% of NJ’s new COVID-19 positive cases. Although NJ has among the highest vaccination rates in the nation - about 70% of the vaccine-eligible population in NJ is vaccinated, there are still 4 million people in NJ who remain unvaccinated.
The CDC has highlighted that Americans between 12 and 29 are contracting COVID-19 at the highest rates while being the least protected. In NJ, only 42% of those 12 - 17 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The NJ Department of Health Commissioner continues to stress the importance of increasing the vaccination rate among 12 - 17 year olds due to the potential of this group coming into contact with the population of children under 12 who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated.
To find a vaccination location nearest you, click here: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/finder.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and take care.
Mayor, Mendham Township