When the first wave of coronavirus patients flooded New Jersey hospitals earlier this year, clinicians were heavily focused on ventilators. At the apex of the pandemic, one in four people hospitalized for COVID-19 needed these machines to breathe, and the state’s supplies were running short. Six months later, the picture has changed dramatically. Ventilators are still critical for some patients — 10% of those hospitalized earlier this week depended on artificial respiration, according to state data — but clinicians now try to employ less invasive protocols first, like high-flow oxygen or repositioning patients to ease breathing, called “proning.” To read the full story.