NEW JERSEY — Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday during a press briefing via Zoom that 1,138,757 vaccine doses have now been administered statewide: 875,424 first doses and 263,196 second doses and that he is expecting increasing deliveries of vaccines from the federal government for our mega-sites and other vaccination centers.

“As these deliveries increase, we’ll be able to open more appointments and be in position to put our efforts into the next gear,” said Murphy, who has “taken himself off the playing field” and is self-quarantining because a member of his family has tested positive. (The governor has tested negative.)

The governor and State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said that on Thursday and Friday, both CVS and Rite Aid will receive direct shipments of vaccines that they will make available by appointment at New Jersey locations. Through this federal pharmacy partnership, 20 CVS locations will administer 19,900 doses, and over Rite Aid sites will 7,500 doses.

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Persichilli added that more than 30 community health centers have been set up around the state to give eligible residents vaccinations. However, demand for appointments is greater than the number of appointments that are currently available.

Latest New Jersey COVID figures

  • 3,740 new positive PCR tests;
  • 653,955 total positive tests;
  • The positivity rate for all PCR tests recorded on Feb. 6 was 12.16%;
  • The statewide rate of transmission is 0.81.

The governor also reported 88 confirmed deaths, bringing the cumulative total of confirmed deaths to 20,004.

Hospital numbers as of Tuesday night:

  • 2,786 patients in New Jersey hospitals;
  • 533 patients in our ICUs, of which 341 are on ventilators;
  • 383 live patients discharged;
  • 307 COVID-positive patients admitted.

To view the press briefing, click here

CDC updates mask guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its mask guidelines on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. The CDC reported that correct and consistent mask use is a critical step everyone can take to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19. Masks work best when everyone wears them, but not all masks provide the same protection. The CDC advises that when choosing a mask, look at how well it fits, how well it filters the air, and how many layers it has.

Two important ways to make sure a mask works the best that it can:

  1. Make sure your mask fits snugly against your face. Gaps can let air with respiratory droplets leak in and out around the edges of the mask.
  2. Pick a mask with layers to keep your respiratory droplets in and others’ droplets out. A mask with layers will stop more respiratory droplets from getting inside your mask or escaping from your mask if you are sick.

The CDC is advising that it is helpful to add layers of material in one of two ways: 

  1. Use a cloth mask that has multiple layers of fabric.
  2. Wear one disposable mask underneath a cloth mask. (The second mask should push the edges of the inner mask against your face.)

Do not combine two disposable masks because they are not designed to fit tightly and wearing more than one will not improve fit. The CDC also advises that people do not combine a KN95 mask with any other mask.

Choose a mask with a Nose Wire

  • A nose wire is a metal strip that goes along the top of the mask
  • Nose wires prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask.
  • Bend the nose wire over your nose to fit close to your face.

Use a Mask Fitter or Brace

  • Use a mask fitter or brace over a disposable mask or a cloth mask to prevent air from leaking around the edges of the mask.
  • Check that it fits snugly over your nose, mouth and chin

Check for gaps by cupping your hands around the outside edges of the mask.

  • Make sure no air is flowing from the area near your eyes or from the sides of the mask.
  • If the mask has a good fit, you will feel warm air come through the front of the mask and may be able to see the mask material move in and out with each breath.

The CDC also offered video tips to make ear loop masks fit more tightly.

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