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.
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.