N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy provides COVID update. How to watch live today. (Dec. 8, 2021) – NJ.com

Gov. Phil Murphy will hold his first coronavirus press conference in more than a week on Wednesday as positive tests, hospitalization and transmission rates continue to climb following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Wednesday’s briefing will not be in-person. It will be held virtually beginning at 1 p.m. and streamed live on the governor’s YouTube.com channel.
Murphy will be joined on the call by state Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, communicable disease service medical director Dr. Ed Lifshitz and State Police Superintendent Colonel Pat Callahan.
The briefing comes as Pfizer said that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine may protect against the new omicron variant even though the initial two doses appear significantly less effective.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said lab tests showed a booster dose increased the level of so-called neutralizing antibodies against omicron by 25-fold.
There were 1,409 patients in the state’s 71 hospitals with the coronavirus or a suspected case as of 10 p.m. Tuesday, 85 more than in the previous 24-hour period. Officials said 261 are receiving intensive care (22 more than a day earlier) and 117 are on ventilators (up from 104 in the previous-24-hour period). Hospitalizations have gone up every day in December and have more than doubled since early November.
The rate of transmission is 1.31. Any number above 1 indicates the outbreak is expanding.
The statewide positivity rate for tests administered on Friday, the most recent day available, was 7.88%.
On Tuesday, officials said there has been a spike in positive COVID-19 cases in schools, leading to thousands of students testing positive for the coronavirus or being asked to stay home and quarantine because classmates are sick.
For the week ending Nov. 28, New Jersey schools reported 3,024 new positive student cases and 858 new positive cases among teachers and school staff, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. There are about 1.3 million students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade schools in the state.
Also Tuesday, officials disclosed 29 COVID-19 deaths and additional 2,789 cases. Officials say 28,465 people have died of coronavirus-related causes in the state since March 2020.
The Associated Press and NJ Advance Media staff writer Matt Arco contributed to this report.
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Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com.
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