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COVID outbreaks in NJ schools rise to 96 with 521 cases among students and staff

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The number of COVID-19 outbreaks at school in New Jersey rose to 96 on Wednesday, while the total number of cases among students, teachers and staff rose to 521, according to updated figures of state.

Outbreaks have increased by 27 in the past week and cumulative cases have increased by 63%. The new cases include 17 staff members and 125 students.

“As a reminder, this dashboard tracks COVID outbreaks that lead to three or more infections and that are determined to result from school activities,” the governor said. Phil murphy said during his afternoon coronavirus briefing. “We are well aware that there are other students, educators and staff, who may have been exposed and infected at social gatherings or other means of community spread. These cases are not tracked on our dashboard – and the layered approach to safety that we have taken in all of our schools is designed to prevent these community spread cases from becoming epidemics at school. “

A total of 62 districts have reported outbreaks. Only two counties – Burlington and Warren – have not reported any schools with an outbreak. Middlesex County reported its first outbreak. Cape May, Mercer, Passaic and Salem have had no new outbreaks in the past week.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Bulletin | Home page

Outbreaks and cases at school as of Wednesday include:

  • Atlantic County: 12 outbreaks involving a total of 43 cases
  • Bergen County: 7 outbreaks involving 36 cases
  • Camden County: 11 outbreaks involving 42 cases
  • Cumberland County: 3 outbreaks involving 17 cases
  • Cape May County: 4 outbreaks involving 15 cases (no new outbreaks)
  • Essex County: 5 outbreaks involving 20 cases
  • Gloucester County: 4 outbreaks involving 25 cases
  • Hudson County: 3 outbreaks involving 12 cases
  • Hunterdon County: 3 outbreaks involving 33 cases
  • Mercer County: 9 outbreaks involving a total of 39 cases (no new outbreaks)
  • Middlesex County: 1 outbreak involving 6 cases
  • Monmouth County: 10 outbreaks involving a total of 47 cases
  • Morris County: 5 outbreaks involving 25 cases
  • Ocean County: 4 outbreaks involving 17 cases
  • Passaic County: 2 outbreaks involving 62 cases (no new outbreaks)
  • Salem County: 1 outbreak involving 3 cases (no new outbreak)
  • Somerset County: 3 outbreaks involving 26 cases
  • Sussex County: 6 outbreaks involving a total of 24 cases
  • Union County: 3 outbreaks involving 29 cases

Figures are cumulative totals since the start of the school year, with most cases having already been resolved.

Last week the governor Phil murphy announced Wednesday that the state will require all schools in the state to report all COVID-19 testing and vaccination data among students and staff at the state health department on a weekly basis, regardless of where the infections occurred.

On Monday, anyone working in any school – public or private – in the state will be be vaccinated or tested for the coronavirus at least once a week.

In the 2020-21 school year, New Jersey experienced 281 school epidemics involving 1,263 positive tests among students, teachers and school staff. Many districts spent much of the year either completely isolated or in a hybrid setting.

The definition of a “school epidemic” changed this year. The state had previously defined a school epidemic as cases where two or more students, teachers or school staff contracted the virus at school. This year, the definition was changed for three or more students to align with how the federal Centers for Disease Control counts outbreaks in schools, state officials said.

The epidemic numbers only include cases where contact tracers believe people caught the virus in school. They do not include students, teachers and school staff who have tested positive, but who have contracted the virus at home or during other activities outside of school.

Anyone aged 12 and over is eligible for a free vaccine. Health experts have repeatedly said that vaccines are safe and effective in drastically reducing the risk of hospitalization and death. Children aged 5 to 11 are expected to be eligible later this year.

NJ Advance Media staff writer Matt Arco contributed to this report.

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Jeff Goldman can be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com.


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