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Every household across the country is eligible to order 4 free, at-home COVID-19 tests!

Order your free tests now here.
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Private insurers are now required to cover the cost of at-home tests purchased online or in stores. Learn more here


 

Protect yourself against the Omicron variant with a booster!

 

Residents ages 12 and older are eligible to receive a booster shot to keep your immune response against COVID-19  strong!

 

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Find the vaccine site closest to you here.

Need assistance? Call the state hotline at 855-568-0545 between 8:00am and 8:00pm.

At this time, only the Pfizer booster vaccine is authorized for those ages 12 through 17. 

Learn more about booster eligibility here


Encuentre el sitio de vacunación más cercano aquí.

 ¿Necesita ayuda? Llame a la línea directa estatal al 855-568-0545 entre las 8:00 am y las 8:00 pm.

En este momento, solo la vacuna de refuerzo de Pfizer está autorizada para personas de 12 a 17 años. 

Obtenga más información sobre la elegibilidad de refuerzo aquí.


Our country remains in the midst of a severe surge in cases of COVID-19 driven by the extremely contagious Omicron variant. 

Every day we see the number of Americans hospitalized with the virus set new records, while deaths are also climbing. 

With our hospitals and health care workers being pushed to the brink, we must take the threat of this variant seriously. 

There is some good news. New Jersey had been dealing with a particularly severe surge of the virus, but cases are now beginning to fall

Hospitalizations and deaths in our state remain high, but we are far from defenseless against this new variant. 

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Available vaccines are safe and highly effective at protecting people from serious illness and death. Booster shots provide optimal protection, especially against Omicron. 

Residents ages 12 and over who have been fully inoculated are eligible for a booster dose at any vaccine location across the state.

Further, the CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. 

The CDC recently updated their mask guidance to emphasize the need for a well-fitted mask, with KN95 or N95 masks providing the best protection. 

Finally, you should consider taking a test before you gather with others. Self-tests can be used at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce rapid results. 

With more vaccines and boosters in arms, expanded free at-home testing, and the full mobilization of the federal government to support our health care system, we will get through this together. 


Case Trends

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to collaborate with global public health and industry partners to learn more about the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. Here is what we know: 

  • Omicron is highly transmissible: The Omicron variant now accounts for roughly 99.5% of all COVID-19 cases in the United States, and over the course of a single month has entirely displaced the once-dominant Delta variant. 
  • Anyone can get and spread the virus: Anyone with Omicron can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms. Those who are vaccinated are experiencing a higher rate of breakthrough infections than with previous variants, but those who are vaccinated and boosted tend to experience milder illness. 
  • We must take this variant seriously: While early data indicates that Omicron may be less likely than the Delta variant to lead to severe illness and hospitalization, this variant still poses serious health risks. This is especially true for individuals who are unvaccinated, of advanced age, and those with underlying medical conditions. 
  • Slowing the spread protects critical infrastructure: The rapidly rising number of cases poses risks to health care services who are facing excess demand for treatment and increased illness among doctors, nurses, and emergency medical personnel. This severe strain on our health care system could leave many hospitals ill equipped to handle additional coronavirus patients and deal with other personal health emergencies.  

The Omicron variant continues to drive a severe number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the country.  Here are the up-to-date numbers in the United States:

  • Cases: The seven-day average for new daily cases nationally is now 756,752, an increase of 38% over the last two weeks.
  • Tests: The seven-day average for daily reported tests stands at 2,505,068, an increase of 81% over the last two weeks. 
  • Hospitalizations: The seven-day average for hospitalizations stands at 156,894, an increase of 47% over the last two weeks. 
  • Deaths: The seven-day average for daily deaths is 1,889, an increase of 43% over the last two weeks. 

Our state is beginning to emerge from one of the most severe Omicron outbreaks in the country, but cases, hospitalizations, and deaths all still remain high. Here are the up-to-date numbers in New Jersey: 

  • Cases: The seven-day average for new daily cases in our state is 17,509, a decrease of 40% over the last two weeks.
  • Tests: The seven-day average for daily tests stands at 63,402, an increase of 38% over the last two weeks. 
  • Hospitalizations: The seven-day average for hospitalizations stands at 5,971, an increase of 27% over the last two weeks. 
  • Deaths: The seven-day average for daily deaths is 77, an increase of 129% over the last two weeks. 

Mobilizing the Federal Government

President Joe Biden has mobilized the full force of the federal government to protect Americans and help communities and hospitals battle COVID-19 by expanding robust access to free testing, increasing vaccine and booster capacity, providing military support to hospitals in need, and quickly distributing newly approved antiviral treatments. 

The Biden administration is purchasing one billion at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests to give to Americans for free. A half-billion free tests are now available to order here, with each household allowed to receive 4 tests during the initial rollout. 

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Further, the Biden administration has mandated that private insurers cover the cost of at-home test kits and invested nearly $6 billion in American Rescue Plan funding to cover free testing for uninsured individuals. 

The Biden administration also provided school districts $10 billion in American Rescue Plan funding to expand free testing options to keep schools safely open across the country. 

FEMA continues to work to stand up federal surge testing sites in the hardest-hit and highest-risk communities. There are now over 20,000 free testing sites across the nation, including four times as many pharmacies participating in the federal pharmacy free testing program as there were this time last year. 

The White House additionally announced it will partner with pharmacies and community health centers across the country to distribute 400 million free N95 masks from the Strategic National Stockpile.


Vaccines and Boosters 

All residents ages 5 and older are eligible for a vaccine and all residents ages 12 and older are eligible for a booster! 

Getting vaccinated and boosted is necessary to protect yourself from the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. 

Learn more about where, how, and when you can get vaccinated here and learn more about booster vaccines here

You can also reach the state vaccine hotline at 855-568-0545 between 8:00am and 8:00pm daily to speak to a trained operator or contact the state online for assistance here

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Over 209.3 million Americans (63%) and more than 6.5 million New Jerseyans (72%) are fully vaccinated against the virus. 

Over 81 million Americans (38.7% of those eligible) and more than 2.57 million New Jerseyans (51% of those eligible) have received a booster vaccine. 

Vaccines and boosters are safe, effective, and free

Have questions or concerns? The CDC has prepared a helpful informational webpage backed by the latest research and data. Accurate vaccine information is critical and can help stop common myths and rumors. 


American Rescue Plan

Last year, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, our $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package to energize our economy and deliver direct relief to working families. 

With hundreds of billions in aid distributed to individuals, small businesses, renters, homeowners, and local governments, we have seen significant results for the American people and our economy. 

In New Jersey, the American Rescue Plan has delivered over $2.8 billion in relief to help keep schools open, $9.6 billion in individual relief through direct stimulus checks, and over $2.4 billion in assistance to working families through the expanded child tax credit.

The American Rescue Plan also helped over 3,000 restaurants in our state keep their doors open with an average award of $300,000 per restaurant.  

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Nearly one year later, the American Rescue Plan is still delivering billions in relief to aid our recovery and fight against the virus. 

In that time, we have made significant progress in our fight against the virus while our economic recovery has exceed expectations across the board. 

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The unemployment rate continues to fall and now stands at just 3.9%, the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. 

Last year, the economy created over 6.4 million jobs as we experienced the highest ever average monthly job growth of any prior Administration. 

In New Jersey, over 195,000 jobs were created and unemployment claims dropped by 59% over the course of the year. 


Ensuring the safety of all families from COVID-19 is my top priority. My office has prepared an informational webpage to ensure workers, families, businesses, and health care providers know their options for relief. For the latest on the coronavirus in New Jersey, check the state’s website at covid19.nj.gov

You can reach me and my staff in Washington at 202-225-5751 or New Jersey at 973-523-5152 for assistance or further guidance. Remember, my door is always open to you. We are all in this together.

Please stay safe and vigilant as we continue to gather for the holidays. I wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year. May this year bring joy, togetherness, and resilience. 

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Follow along on our social media for the latest on on the COVID-19 pandemic. 


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