NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey reported its highest number of COVID patients hospitalized since May of 2020 on Monday.
Statewide, 4,715 patients hospitalized with coronavirus is up 76% in a week.
"Take omicron serious. Go get tested," Governor Phil Murphy said during a briefing.
New Jersey has recorded 6 straight days of more than 20,000 confirmed positive tests. Murphy said the figure is under counted because people testing at home are likely not reporting to local officials.
"The case numbers we're seeing today blow anything we have seen since the start of the pandemic out of the water," Murphy said.
Murphy said the number of outbreaks traced to in-school activities have remained on the low side. He said the state has no intention or plan to shut down schools, although numerous districts have moved to remote learning.
Students and staff will have to wear masks in New Jersey schools for 90 more days under an extension of emergency coronavirus powers announced by Murphy.
"This brings us absolutely no joy. No one wants to see our childrens' smiles more than I do, but this is what is necessary now to keep our schools safe," Murphy said.
First lady Tammy Murphy tested positive for the virus for a second time, he said. She has not had any symptoms.
"To me that's the bigger headline. If you do the right thing - you are double vaccinated, you are boosted, you do everything we know works - you may get it because it's so crazy transmissible, but as of now. you don't get sick enough to be miserable or worse yet go to the hospital," Murphy added.
Statewide, more than 6.2 million people have been fully vaccinated. Another 2.3 million have received boosters.
The governor said he has tested negative.
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