NJ health officials end COVID dashboard updates on weekends and holidays

New Jersey’s online COVID-19 dashboard, which provides daily updates on cases, deaths and other data, will no longer be updated on weekends and holidays, the Department of Health has announced.

The change for daily cases and deaths took place over the past weekend, the health ministry said. The state stopped reporting weekend immunization updates on October 14.

This is the first time since New Jersey reported its first case of the coronavirus on March 4, 2020 that there are no daily updates on the coronavirus case count.

Case numbers for Saturday and Sunday will be reported on Monday, with every three days being combined into one number, a Health Ministry spokesman said. They don’t appear to be shown separately in a tab that shows all new confirmed cases over time.

The dashboard, located online at covid19.nj.gov, has been a one-stop shop for information about the coronavirus pandemic since the pandemic’s early days.

The website initially provided information on case numbers, the death toll and the current status of restrictions and mandates. As the pandemic continued, additional information was posted on the dashboard, including vaccination counts, long-term care outbreaks and hospitalizations.

Gov. Phil Murphy highlighted the pandemic numbers during daily briefings for the first year of the pandemic. As the briefings became less frequent and then ended altogether, the daily case counts and other new data were updated daily on the website.

New Jersey has reported a total of more than 2.38 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the first case in March 2020.

The Garden State has also recorded 437,803 positive antigen or rapid tests that are considered probable cases. There are also numerous cases that have likely never been counted, including positive at-home tests that aren’t included in the state’s numbers.

The state of 9.2 million people has reported 35,030 COVID-19 deaths — 31,914 confirmed deaths and 3,116 probable.

New Jersey has the 10th most coronavirus deaths per capita in the US — behind Mississippi, Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, New Mexico, Tennessee and Michigan — as of Thursday.

More than 7.1 million people working, living, or studying in New Jersey have achieved full immunization status. Nearly 8 million have received a first dose since vaccinations began in the state on December 15, 2020.

More than 4.3 million people in the state who are eligible for a refresher have received one.

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Katie Kausch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @Katie Kausch.