New Jersey reported zero new confirmed COVID deaths Tuesday for the first time in nearly a year and a half, yet another demonstrable sign of progress as the state continues to aggressively push vaccinations and its post-pandemic recovery.
The Garden State has reported at least one new virus-linked death -- and as many as hundreds a day at times -- every day since March 17, 2020, which was a week after it reported its first COVID death and two weeks after reporting its first case.
Total hospitalizations remain below 300, while the state is now reporting daily case counts below 200 if not lower on a regular basis. Two weeks ago, Gov. Phil Murphy reported zero new in-hospital deaths for the first time since July 30, 2020, a fact he attributed entirely to increased vaccinations as he urged more people to get dosed.
To date, more than five million New Jerseyans are fully vaccinated, state data shows. Nearly 64% of those aged 18 to 64 are immunized, while more than 85% of those aged 65 and up can say the same.
Not sure how the process works? Check out our handy tri-state vaccine site finder and FAQs here
New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers
Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Data: City of New York, State of New Jersey • Nina Lin / NBC
Like its neighbor across the river, New York has also seen core viral rates plunge in the last two months as vaccinations have increased, though the pace of shot administration has slowed considerably in the last six weeks or so.
The Empire State is experiencing all-time pandemic lows on core viral metrics regularly, though it has seen some upticks as of late in low vaccination rate areas.
An average of 365 people tested positive each day over the seven-day period ending Thursday, according to state data. That’s up 17% from 312 as of a week ago.
Exactly why is unclear, but data show the numbers are rising even as less testing is occurring. The state averaged 75,500 COVID-19 tests in the seven days through Thursday, down from nearly 87,000 the previous week.
Tracking Coronavirus in Tri-State
Experts believe the highly transmissible delta variant is fueling new outbreaks in parts of the state and parts of the country where immunization rates are low.
That strain, which first devastated India before spreading globally, is now the second-most dominant COVID variant in New York City, overtaking two others in just the last week. U.S. officials believe it will soon become the dominant strain in America as well, though evidence shows existing vaccines protect against it.
New York state now has fully vaccinated 66% of its adult population, while the five boroughs, the one-time epicenter of the pandemic, have fully immunized about 63.2% of their adult population.
New York City will hold its first ticker-tape parade in nearly two years Wednesday, an emotional jaunt up the Canyon of Heroes in honor of the first responders, healthcare staff, grocery workers and others who helped guide the city through the worst public health crisis it -- and the nation -- experienced in more than a century.