Is the next wave of COVID upon us? After a nearly month long plateau, it looks that way. New Jersey has had the highest rate of new COVID infections in the nation for a week now. On Tuesday, more new cases were reported — 4,378 — than on any day since Jan. 30. But back then the numbers were going down, not up. The number of COVID patients in New Jersey hospitals is up 30% over the last three weeks, to 2,329. That’s higher than any day since mid-February. And despite a strenuous campaign to vaccinate as many adults as possible, the virus’ transmission rate has ticked slowly upward. It’s now 1.09, which means that every 10 people infected will, on average, infect nearly 11 others. To read the full story.