Pennsylvania and New Jersey tallied new daily records for coronavirus infections over the weekend, as the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 surpassed 280,000 nationwide on Sunday.
New Jersey on Sunday reported 6,046 confirmed new COVID-19 cases, an increase of 13% over Saturday and the highest total since the pandemic took hold in March, the state Health Department said.
With COVOID-19 cases mounting, two South Jersey school districts on Sunday announced plans to shift from in-person classes to remote learning for students and teachers until early January. Washington Township in Gloucester County will go to remote learning until Jan. 11, and Deptford Township schools said they have scrapped plans for hybrid in-person instruction and will continue remote learning through Jan. 8.
New Jersey also prepared to impose new, lower limits on outdoor gatherings to go into effect on Monday. Gov. Phil Murphy announced last week that the limit would be cut to 25 on Monday. The limit had been 500, then was reduced to 150 in November.
Pennsylvania reported on Saturday that it had received 12,884 new positive test results, the highest daily increase on record. The statewide total now stands at 411,484. Pennsylvania did not report updated numbers on Sunday.
Coronavirus infections across the country have continued to increase, and much of the nation saw surging numbers in the week after Thanksgiving.
Nearly 207,000 new coronavirus cases were reported Sunday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That brings the nationwide total to 14,462,527 cases, up 10% in the last seven days. The total number of dead stood at 280,135.
Vast swaths of southern and inland California imposed new restrictions on businesses and activities over the weekend as hospitals in the nation’s most populous state face a dire shortage of beds.
In Pennsylvania, 1,065 patients were in intensive-care units as a result of coronavirus infections, and most were aged 65 and older. The state also reported 149 additional deaths, bringing the total to 11,262.
In New Jersey, total confirmed deaths stood at 15,485. An additional 1,836 deaths were listed as “probable” COVID-19 casualties.
Inquirer staff writers Melanie Burney and Anthony R. Wood contributed to this article, which also contains information from the Associated Press.