New Jersy reports 2101 COVID cases 15 deaths

New Jersy reports 2101 COVID cases 15 deaths as hospitalizations and rate of transmission drop. New Jersey on Saturday reported 2,101 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 15 new deaths, just days days after President Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate that targets 100 million American workers.

The state has reported a total of 27,054 deaths, including 24,305 confirmed fatalities and 2,749 considered probable from the coronavirus as the delta variant continues to be the dominant strain in the state. The highly contagious variant accounted for more than 98% of cases sampled for a four-week span ending Aug. 21. In the final week of that time period, 99.7% of cases sample were the delta variant.

New Jersey has the most coronavirus deaths per capita in the United States.

All of New Jersey’s 21 counties are listed as having “high” rates of coronavirus transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC is recommending people in all 21 counties wear masks for indoor public settings regardless of vaccination rates.

There were 1,070 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or suspected cases across New Jersey’s 71 hospitals Friday night — 97 fewer than Thursday night. There were 158 patients discharged from hospitals Friday.

Of those hospitalized, 222 were in intensive care (46 fewer than a day earlier), with 111 on ventilators (17 fewer).

New Jersey’s statewide rate of transmission on Saturday continued to drop, dipping to 0.99, from 1.01 the previous day. Any number over 1 indicates that each new case is leading to more than one additional case and shows the state’s outbreak is expanding.

The positivity rate for tests conducted on Tuesday, the most recent day available, was 4.8%. The positivity rate on weekends tends to be higher due to fewer tests being conducted.

At least 8,485 of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been among residents and staff members at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, according to state data.

New Jersey is now reporting more than 5.68 million people who live, work or study in the state have been fully vaccinated. More than 6.2 million people have received at least one dose as the state prepares to administer third doses and booster shots to those fully vaccinated in the coming months, pending approval from the federal government.

The vaccine mandate announced by Biden on Thursday calls for all employers with more than 100 workers to require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.

There are active outbreaks at 151 long-term care facilities in New Jersey, resulting in 571 active cases among residents and 488 among staffers. Those numbers have continued to rise in recent weeks.

In all, the state of 9.2 million residents has reported 971,122 total confirmed cases out of the more than 15.1 million PCR tests conducted since it announced its first case March 4, 2020. The state has also reported 144,537 positive antigen tests, which are considered probable cases.

As of Saturday, there have been more than 224 million positive COVID-19 cases reported across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 4.6 million people having died due to the virus. The U.S. has reported the most cases (more than 40.8 million) and deaths (more than 659,600) than any other nation.

More than 5.6 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally.

Americans solemnly marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on Saturday, remembering the dead, invoking the heroes and taking stock of the aftermath of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil less than two weeks after the fraught end of the war in Afghanistan.

The ceremony at ground zero in New York began exactly two decades after the attack started with the first of four hijacked planes crashing into one of the World Trade Center’s twin towers.

“It felt like an evil specter had descended on our world, but it was also a time when many people acted above and beyond the ordinary,” said Mike Low, whose daughter, Sara Low, was a flight attendant on that plane.

Her family has “known unbearable sorrow and disbelief” in the years since, the father told a crowd that included President Joe Biden and former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

But “as we carry these 20 years forward, I find sustenance in a continuing appreciation for all of those who rose to be more than ordinary people,” Low said.

The anniversary unfolded under the pall of a pandemic and in the shadow of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is now ruled by the same militants who gave safe haven to the 9/11 plotters.

“It’s hard because you hoped that this would just be a different time and a different world. But sometimes history starts to repeat itself and not in the best of ways,” Thea Trinidad, who lost her father in the attacks, said before reading victims’ names at the ceremony.

Bruce Springsteen and Broadway actor Kelli O’Hara sang at the commemoration, but by tradition, no politicians spoke there. In a video released Friday night, Biden addressed the continuing pain of loss but also spotlighted what he called the “central lesson” of Sept. 11: “that at our most vulnerable … unity is our greatest strength.”

Biden was also scheduled to pay respects at the two other sites where the 9/11 conspirators crashed the jets: the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Together, the attacks killed nearly 3,000 people.

Calvin Wilson came to the Pennsylvania memorial to reflect on his brother-in-law LeRoy Homer, the first officer of the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers and crew fought to regain control. Hijackers are believed to have been targeting the U.S. Capitol or the White House.

Wilson said he believes a polarized country has “missed the message” of the passengers’ and crew members’ heroism.

“We don’t focus on the damage. We don’t focus on the hate. We don’t focus on retaliation. We don’t focus on revenge,” Wilson said. “We focus on the good that all of our loved ones have done.”

Former President George W. Bush, the nation’s leader on 9/11, and current Vice President Kamala Harris were to speak at the Pennsylvania memorial. The only other post-9/11 U.S. president, Donald Trump, planned to be in New York, in addition to providing commentary at a boxing match in Florida in the evening.

Other observances — from a wreath-laying in Portland, Maine, to a fire engine parade in Guam — were planned across a country now full of 9/11 plaques, statues and commemorative gardens.

In the aftermath of the attacks, security was redefined, with changes to airport checkpoints, police practices and the government’s surveillance powers. For years afterward, virtually any sizeable explosion, crash or act of violence seemed to raise a dire question: “Is it terrorism?” Some ideological violence and plots did follow, though federal officials and the public have lately become increasingly concerned with threats from domestic extremists after years of focusing on international terror groups in the wake of 9/11.

New York faced questions early on about whether it could ever recover from the blow to its financial hub and restore a feeling of safety among the crowds and skyscrapers. New Yorkers ultimately rebuilt a more populous and prosperous city but had to reckon with the tactics of an empowered post-9/11 police department and a widened gap between haves and have-nots.

A “war on terror” led to invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, where the longest U.S. war ended last month with a hasty, massive airlift punctuated by a suicide bombing that killed 169 Afghans and 13 American service members and was attributed to a branch of the Islamic State extremist group. The U.S. is now concerned that al-Qaida, the terror network behind 9/11, may regroup in Afghanistan, where the flag of the Taliban militant group once again flew over the presidential palace on Saturday.

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