As the Delta variant continues to sweep across New Jersey, health officials are reporting another 1,595 confirmed COVID cases as hospitalizations continue to increase.

There are now 982 coronavirus patients in Garden State hospitals, with 184 of them in intensive care and 87 on ventilators.

Gov. Phil Murphy said he’s been reviewing COVID modeling predictions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and “some of those scenarios aren’t terribly pretty."

"In all scenarios it gets worse before it gets better, so we have to leave all options on the table," he said.

The consensus of the modeling predicts a growing number of COVID cases and a slow but steady increase in the number of COVID hospitalizations and deaths over the next three weeks in New Jersey.

The governor said trying to make sense of the way COVID progresses and how the pandemic unfolds is extremely challenging.

“This is a pretty humbling experience, dealing with this virus, every time you think you’ve got this thing figured out it takes a turn,” he said.

Murphy noted the way the virus morphs is a little bit like Mother Nature.

“You do everything you can to prepare, to be proactive, to get out ahead of this thing, but you have to be willing to revisit the game plan, revisit the decisions you’ve made, revisit the package you’ve put in place for a particular environment,” he said.

The governor said one positive sign is “Delta looks like it begins to peter out at a point where it’s hit other places before it hit New Jersey, and it’s not doing that yet here. We hope to heck it does do it here.”

He said the takeaway from the current COVID forecast for the Garden State is to get vaccinated, get your booster shot when it’s available in the coming months, and “if you’re indoors, particularly if you’re in close quarters, and you’re not certain of the vaccine status of the people you’re with, we’re strongly recommending that you wear a mask.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

The best outdoor beer gardens at NJ breweries

There are more options than ever for enjoying a Garden State crafted beer in an outdoor setting.

New Jersey tied for first place (with Kentucky) with 43% growth in the craft beer scene from 2015 to 2019, according to C+R Research.

The following is a roundup of breweries around the state with scenic, dedicated outdoor seating as weather allows.

25 True Crime Locations: What Do They Look Like Today?

Below, find out where 25 of the most infamous crimes in history took place — and what the locations are used for today. (If they've been left standing.)

More From 94.3 The Point