As you know, the Omicron variant is spreading quickly and, so far, appears to be more transmissible, even as health officials await further data to determine the severity of illness it can cause. The good news is that we have the tools available to us to help slow the spread, the most important being vaccines. If you have not yet been vaccinated or received your booster, I urge you to do so with the winter months of indoor activity and gatherings upon us. It’s also prudent to get tested before and following any holiday travel.
Today, the state has reported back-to-back days of more than 6,000 confirmed positive tests for the first time in the 21 months since the pandemic began. New Jersey had just six days total last winter with more than 6,000 cases.
Regional Health Officer Megan Avallone reports that the entire state continues to show a high level of COVID activity.
Locally, there were 40 cases identified in Westfield between December 10 and December 14 (note the shorter timeframe, as this is the most recent data available this week). The age ranges are broken down as follows:
- Age 9 and under: 5 cases
- Age 10-19: 10 cases
- Age 20-29: 4 cases
- Age 30-39: 8 cases
- Age 40-49: 3 cases
- Age 50-59: 8 cases
- Age 60-69: 2 cases
- Age 70-79: No cases
- Age 80-89: No cases
- Age 90 and above: No cases
The state’s seven-day average for new confirmed cases is up 23% from a week ago and up 199% from a month ago, the highest since January 29. The statewide transmission rate is 1.23.
Statewide, vaccination rates have decreased by 11% from last week’s rate, with an average of 50.5K doses administered per day. More than 6.3 million New Jersey residents are fully vaccinated, and more than 1.8 million people in the state have received third doses or boosters.
In Union County, 69% of the population is fully vaccinated. In Westfield, 98% of adults and 78% of our entire population is fully vaccinated. Additional breakdowns by location and age group can be found on the New Jersey COVID Dashboard
. Note that the fully vaccinated data does not include booster shot information.
Wednesday was Boost NJ Day, which marked one year since the first COVID vaccine was given in New Jersey, and the day was utilized to encourage New Jersey residents to get their booster shot. The Westfield Regional Health Department held a clinic in Fanwood on Wednesday with over 200 participants! There will be two more clinics in the coming days – one tomorrow at the Westfield Memorial Library for booster shots, and a pediatric clinic (age 5+) on Monday in Garwood – no appointment needed. The attached flyers have all of the pertinent details.
Vaccine clinics, walk-in appointments, and home visits will continue to be offered throughout the winter. Any resident interested in receiving the vaccine can call 908-789-4070. All residents 16 and older who are six months past their last dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two months past their dose of J&J, are highly encouraged to get a booster dose, as recommended by the CDC. The department is also offering free flu vaccinations for any adult 18 or older.
The NJ Department of Health and Vault Medical Services have partnered to offer a free, at-home COVID-19 saliva test kit that is available to every New Jerseyan who thinks they need a test, with or without symptoms. The kit will be shipped through UPS with next-day delivery. Once received, you will connect over Zoom with a Vault healthcare professional who will walk you through the test and answer your questions. When complete, the test can be sent back in a prepaid package via UPS next-day shipping. You will receive your test results 24 to 48 hours after your sample arrives at the lab. To learn more or to order a free test kit, visit learn.vaulthealth.com/nj