By Stephanie Stahl

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — After months of the Delta variant driving the current COVID-19 surge, the latest numbers show a downward trend. But health officials say with so many people still not vaccinated, precautions are still necessary.

According to the CDC transmission map, all three states, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware still have high levels of COVID-19.

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But, the numbers are improving a little bit.

“We continue to see the rate of transmission holding below one and that remains a very good sign,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.

COVID-19 cases in New Jersey are down 10% from a week ago and most new cases are in the southern part of the state.

“Part of it has to do with over the summer months, that’s where people tended to congregate more,” Dr. Edward Lifshitz said.

New Jersey is among 24 states with declining numbers of COVID-19 cases.

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Delaware and Pennsylvania have a steady number of new infections, but in Pennsylvania, there were over 14,000 new cases over the past three days.

“Of the different surges we’ve had, it’s come up, starts to come down and then all of the sudden ‘boom’ comes back up again as it’s coming down,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

Nationally, hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus are trending down in most states. Mainly a reflection of increasing vaccinations, more people are being protected from serious complications.

“The one thing that we don’t want to do is that we don’t want to become complacent and say, OK, now we need to pull back,” Fauci said. “We don’t need any more people to get vaccinated. We need to continue to get those individuals, now 70 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated, vaccinated.”

There are concerns with colder months ahead and with more people inside, COVID could spike again.

“To keep this number low and to prevent another winter spike, we do need everyone to not only get vaccinated, but we strongly encourage you to wear a mask and keep a social distance when among a crowd indoors.”

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Gov. Murphy says COVID outbreaks in schools in New Jersey have doubled in the past two weeks and most of those cases are among students.

Stephanie Stahl