Monmouth County school sees COVID-19 outbreak; NJ hospitalizations on the rise

The Wall Township Intermediate School will be all virtual for the remainder of the week following an outbreak of COVID-19 and a “very high number of quarantines.”
School officials said in a letter to parents and guardians that 27 new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported at the school. The shutdown only impacts the Intermediate School and will not affect other schools in the district, according to officials.
The school is tentatively scheduled to reopen on Dec. 13.
The announcement comes as hospitalizations from the virus top 1,300 in New Jersey for the first time since May 5. This is compared to last week where there were only about 1,000 hospitalizations.
Cases of the virus are rising across the board in the United States. The U.S. is averaging more than 1,600 COVID-19-related deaths every day. More than 99% of those deaths are from the delta variant.
But health experts warn that the omicron variant is spreading. New Jersey is now among 19 states with confirmed cases of the omicron variant. Health officials say that vaccines are still the best protection against the virus.
Meanwhile, Kean University has announced that its COVID-19 diagnostic lab is testing for the omicron variant. It began the process last week of genomic sequencing to detect the mutation.
The lab has identified every variant of COVID-19 since it opened in January, including delta. Delta continues to be the dominant strain in New Jersey and the United States.
Gov. Phil Murphy will be holding a COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.