COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise in New Jersey

New Jersey health officials are concerned about rising hospitalizations, saying over the past two weeks, new COVID-related hospitalizations are up 28%.

Video Transcript

- --get vaccinated against COVID-19, hospitals in our area are still spreading a word of caution.

- Especially to young adults. As we've heard so many times, no one should let their guard down just yet. Action News reporter Trish Hartman live now at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. And Trish, you've got the story from there today.

TRISH HARTMAN: That's right, Brian and Sharrie. State health officials say over the past two weeks, hospitalizations in New Jersey have gone up by 28%. And as people look forward to getting out or getting vaccinated, we turn to local hospitals to see where they stand.

As experts warn of another COVID surge, New Jersey state officials are keeping a close eye on rising hospitalizations, noting larger increases in younger people being admitted to the hospital in the past month.

JUDY PERSICHILLI: A 48% increase among individuals 40 to 49.

TRISH HARTMAN: And there was a 31% increase in hospitalizations for ages 20 to 29 in New Jersey. We found folks in that age group who weren't surprised.

ANTHONY SEOULER: I would say just because no masks and people are around each other a lot.

CHASE HARRIS: I think people are just really tired of everything that's kind of going on. I think they're like mask fatigued, is what they've been calling it at my school.

MARTIN TOPIEL: We're seeing people traveling. We are starting to see that holiday gathering again.

TRISH HARTMAN: Officials at Virtua Health say their hospitals have seen a small increase in COVID patients since February. They've also noticed fewer elderly patients in their hospitals due to vaccinations.

MARTIN TOPIEL: I think we're in a race right now between the vaccination process and the development of the variants.

TRISH HARTMAN: At Cooper University Hospital, Dr. Adam Green says right now, hospitalizations are relatively low. But he reminds people that once you get a vaccine, it takes two weeks after your final dose before you can be considered fully vaccinated.

ADAM GREEN: We have seen patients who get one vaccine and then maybe they become a little bit more liberal with their precautions, and then they end up getting COVID before the vaccine took effect.

TRISH HARTMAN: Now, while doctors at both Virtua and Cooper say they are much better equipped to treat COVID one year into this pandemic, they are both concerned about a rise in COVID cases and possible COVID hospitalizations, as a spring surge could potentially approach, and they are urging people to be careful.

Reporting live in Camden, New Jersey, Trish Hartman, Channel 6 Action News. Sharrie?

- Proceeding with--