NEW JERSEY - New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is warning of a "tsunami" of cases across the state possibly taxing the health care system.
New Jersey reported 22,625 new cases on Monday but Murphy warned that the totals are severely undercounted because most people who test positive using an at-home test are not reporting the results to health officials.
"The sheer numbers of new cases are directly leading to hospitalization figures we have not seen in well over a year," Murphy said at a news briefing on Monday afternoon.
There are more people in the hospital right now than in last winter's surge, the governor noted. He has mobilized units of the National Guard to help staff some hospitals.
As for schools, figures show that COVID-19 cases are surging among both students and staff. Cases among students have jumped from 4.55 per 1,000 to 10.5. The numbers are more dramatic for staff members. Cases per 1,000 have jumped from 5.76 to 23.29 since Thanksgiving.
The state says that 102 children are hospitalized with confirmed or likely coronavirus cases. Those numbers have nearly doubled in the past week.
Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli says that health facilities have been requested to prioritize tests for children in an effort to keep schools open.
She also pleaded with more children to be vaccinated. Vaccine numbers for children are much lower than for adults.