The total number of positive cases as of Wednesday was 9,711. That number reflected all PCR test results for the state. A day earlier, the total number of confirmed cases was 6,840.
The number of hospital-reported deaths from coronavirus in the Garden State was 20 on Wednesday.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the state was seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases not seen since the start of the year. The surge was most likely due to the delta and omicron variants.
The increase prompted several school districts to cancel classes before and after the holiday break and re-impose municipality-wide mask mandates.
The Paterson Public School District announced Wednesday that all classes would be virtual after the winter break starting Jan. 4 through Jan. 18. The South Orange - Maplewood School District had already shifted its high school and one middle to school to remote-only learning.
The Village of South Orange, Montclair Township, and Newark required all people indoors to wear masks in an effort to stop the spread of the highly contagious virus.
Mayor Ras Baraka issued an executive order Monday effective immediately that requires residents and visitors to the city to be masked when in public buildings. It also required bar patrons to be seated and to wear a mask except when in the act of eating or drinking.