New Jersey sets highest daily coronavirus total with 6,247 infections

As states prepare to receive doses of the federally approved Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, officials in New Jersey reported the highest number of daily infections to date. 

According to state health officials, positives cases rose by more than 6,200 on Saturday. The uptick in new cases is nearly double the number of positive tests reported on Friday. Since the onset of the pandemic, the Garden State has managed 396k infections. 

The number of reported deaths in the most densely populated state in the nation rose by 71 on Saturday, according to health officials. More than 15,800 deaths in New Jersey have been attributed to the novel virus. 

Despite neighboring states tightening their coronavirus restrictions on businesses and gatherings this week, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy did not hand down heightened orders amid the second-wave of coronavirus.

Earlier this week, the democratic governor insisted that officials were not planning on shutting down indoor dining in an effort to control the spread. However, Murphy noted that if health officials saw "explicit waves of transmission coming out of the indoor dining experience, obviously we'd have a different approach."

Indoor dining in New Jersey is currently limited to 25 percent capacity. Most indoor gatherings are capped at 10 people, with exceptions made to religious services, weddings and funerals. Unlike Pennsylvania, which moved to shutter gyms, theaters, and all-league sports, the Garden State has allowed entertainment businesses to remain open at 25% capacity.

MORE: New Jersey ready for COVID-19 vaccine roll out after FDA approval

Murphy earlier this week noted the difference between the spring when shutdowns were implemented and the current surge in cases. 

"We were about to run out of hospital beds, ventilators, PPE. We were at the edge, and the fact of the matter is we spent the past – I guess of the nine months, probably the past six to seven months rebuilding those capacities," Murphy said. "We do have hospitalizations that are up meaningfully, and I guess my guess is that they're going to go higher, but they're still about 5,000 beds shy of the peak in the spring."

Meanwhile, Army Gen. Gustave F. Perna said Saturday that shipping companies UPS and FedEx will deliver Pfizer’s vaccine to nearly 150 state locations. Another 450 sites will get the vaccine on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Perna is with Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s vaccine development program. He says the vaccine was timed to arrive Monday morning so that health workers would be available to receive the shots and begin giving them.


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