By Stephanie Stahl

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — In both New Jersey and Delaware COVID hospitalizations and deaths have spiked since the holidays. In the Garden State, hospitalizations are up dramatically, quadrupling numbers in the last month.

More than 6,000 people in the hospital right now have COVID. It’s the highest number since April of 2020.

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New Jersey also reached another milestone.

“We’re recording more deaths tragically now more than any point in the past year and remember, one year ago we had only just begun our vaccination efforts,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.

Most of the people hospitalized with COVID have not been vaccinated or received booster shots.

“While most children appear not to get sick enough to be hospitalized the number of pediatric patients in our hospitalized with confirmed covid is currently at the highest level since the pandemic began,” Judy Persichilli said.

The COVID positivity rate in New Jersey has been above 30% since Christmas Day, these numbers have also not been seen since April 2020 when the pandemic first started.

“My God, the numbers, the levels of folks testing positive is through the roof,” Murphy said.

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In neighboring Delaware, the COVID surge has prompted a new mask mandate that was announced Monday. In revising the State of Emergency in Delaware, Gov. John Carney reinstated the indoor mask requirement in public settings beginning Tuesday, Jan, 11 at 8 a.m.

The new mandate comes with COVID cases, specifically hospitalizations reaching new highs.

Everyone is going inside any public location in Delaware will need to be masked.

“I think it’s a great idea, I hope the majority of people, I hope that all of the people will follow the mandate,” resident Donna Braden said.

Many Delaware hospitals that are over-capacity and struggling with staffing shortages implemented a new Crisis Standard allowing them to change the way resources are allocated.

“All you can hope is that everybody does their part and the numbers go down,” resident Ken Phillips said.

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The number of cases being reported from this COVID surge is likely undercounted because at-home test results are not reported to state health departments.

Stephanie Stahl