New Jersey reported 106 lab-confirmed COVID-19 deaths on Thursday -- the first time since the early days of the pandemic the state topped 100 deaths in a day.
The last time, by date of death, that New Jersey had 100 or more confirmed COVID deaths in a day was the third week of May 2020.
The state reported another 27,404 new cases Thursday, the ninth straight day New Jersey has topped 20,000 new infections in a day. (Prior to late December, the state had never seen even 7,000 in a single day.)
Net hospitalizations rose to 5,598, the highest level since May 1, 2020. The day-over-day growth was the slowest since Christmas, but with so many new daily cases, officials aren't expecting the hospital burden to ease anytime soon.
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New Jersey is now well past the surge it saw in the winter of 2020/21, and is rapidly approaching the pandemic-era high of just over 8,000 cases in April 2020.
Last week the chief physician executive at Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey's largest hospital network, told News 4 New York the state would eclipse that mark by mid-January, and that the network was preparing to implement "crisis standards of care."
On Monday, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said she'd asked FEMA to send reinforcements for depleted hospital staffs.