HEALTH

LIVE UPDATES: Tracking the coronavirus in New Jersey

This post will be updated as news about the coronavirus in New Jersey breaks.

April 4

  • New Jersey has received an additional 4,331 positive test results, bringing the total number of positive test results to 34,124.
  • The county breakdown of new cases:
    • Atlantic 28
    • Bergen 607
    • Burlington 98
    • Camden 74
    • Cape May 7
    • Cumberland 5
    • Essex 409
    • Gloucester 31
    • Hudson 494
    • Hunterdon 23
    • Mercer 89
    • Middlesex 400
    • Monmouth 301
    • Morris 214
    • Ocean 268
    • Passaic 489
    • Salem 0
    • Somerset 108
    • Sussex 21
    • Union 287
    • Warren 30
  • The state has also reported an additional 200 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 846:
    • 47 deaths are from Bergen county
    • 37 from Essex county
    • 21 from Ocean county
    • 8 from Mercer county
    • 8 from Morris county
    • 6 from Monmouth county
    • 4 from Passaic county
    • 3 from Warren county
    • 1 each from Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Hunterdon, Somerset and Sussex
  • Breakdown of the 846 reported fatalities:
    • 61% male
    • 39% female
    • 1% under 30
    • 6% between 30 and 49
    • 16% between 50 and 64
    • 32% between the ages of 65 and 79
    • 46% over the age of 80
    • 35% had documented underlying health conditions, with the number expected to grow as they investigate further
    • 4 individual cases are identified as not having underlying health conditions
  • Hospitals are reporting over 4,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in hospitals, with an additional over 2,000 awaiting test results.
  • 1,494 of those confirmed positive cases are in critical care. 1263 are on ventilators.
  • Gov. Murphy said COVID-19 is responsible for more New Jerseyan deaths than happened on 9/11 and declared the pandemic one of the greatest tragedies in New Jersey’s history.
  • Gov. Murphy in a conversation with Vice President Pence reiterated that New Jersey is still pending 1650 ventilators from the original ask to the federal government.
  • Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the CDC recommends the use of cloth coverings for your face, like scarfs and bandanas. Cloth face coverings are not a replacement to social distancing, you must continue to keep 6 feet distance, wash your hands for 20 seconds and if you feel sick stay indoors away from others.
  • Long-term care settings will receive a follow-up letter from the Department of Health reminding them of their responsibility under the law to have an outbreak response communication plan, when at least one case has been confirmed with COVID 19 in their facilities.
    • This will include specific guidance as to how to notify people: it must be in person and in writing to all residents, family and staff members. Due to visiting restrictions any communications via telephone or email must be followed up in writing within three days.
    • If this notifications do not go out by close of business Monday the names of facilities with at least one confirmed COVID 19 case will be made public.
  • Friday night northern New Jersey had 9 hospitals on divert primarily due to staffing issues and critical care bed capacity. 3 hospitals were on divert for critical care, 6 on full divert primarily due to staffing issues.
  • A crisis alert is going out asking for more volunteers. Visit COVID19.nj.gov/volunteer to volunteer.
  • The state is working with hospitals to rapidly increase capacity, including using hotels and dorms near hospitals for medical staff so they are close to were they are needed.
  • Field medical station in Secaucus will open on Monday.
  • There are 75 testing sites across NJ, for more information visit COVID19.nj.gov/testing.
  • New Jersey will receive 70,000 N95 masks and other PPE equipment from a seizure of supplies by federal authorities in Brooklyn.
  • Police Superintendent Callahan signed an administrative order giving municipalities the ability to prohibit rentals to transient guests or seasonal tenants for the duration of this emergency, including hotels and motels.
  • Newark issued 122 summons and closed 7 businesses that were violating stay at home orders.
  • In Raritan Township a man was arrested for organizing a basketball game with 6 juveniles in violation of stay at home orders.
  • The Department of Labor received 362,000 unemployment applications in 2 weeks. The department is increasing capacity adding phone lines, procuring laptops for staff to work remotely and working on improving a 40 year-old mainframe system.

April 3

  • The state is reporting another 4,372 positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number in NJ to 29,895
  • There were an additional 113 deaths reported, bringing the state’s total number of fatalities to 646
  • So far, the state has administered 64,827 tests. 27,219 of those tests came back positive, giving the state a positivity rate of 41.99%
  • Health commissioner Judith Persichilli announced that, of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are hospitalized, 1,227 (41%) are on ventilators.
  • Tim Sullivan, CEO of the NJ Economic Development Authority, put out some statistics regarding the impact the coronavirus has had on the state’s business community:
    • In a survey conducted 10 days ago, 73% of small businesses reported significant loss of revenue.
    • More than 50% had to make cuts, reduce staff, etc.
  • Sullivan also spoke about the initial response to the state aid programs that were opened for applications today:
    • A grant program for businesses with 10 or fewer employees that would provide up to $5,000 per business opened at 10 a.m. and by 10:16 a.m. they received 10,000 applications. As of 1:30 they had 16,500 applications.
    • They are hoping to distribute the rewards as early as next week.
  • State police superintendent Pat Callahan said that 79 violators have been cited for flouting the Governor’s executive order.
  • The PNC Bank Arts Center testing site will be open tomorrow, Saturday, April 4, at 8 a.m.
    • Testing will be performed for health care workers and emergency personnel only
  • There is a testing site opening in Cumberland County.
    • The site will be located on the Vineland Campus of Rowan College Cumberland
    • Testing is available for symptomatic Cumberland County residents only, by appointment only.
  • A testing site in Essex County will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week in Weequahic Park.
    • Testing is available for symptomatic residents of Essex County only, by appointment only.
  • The Governor said that there are now a total of 42 testing sites operating throughout the state.
  • Governor Murphy ordered to flags in the state to be lowered to half-staff immediately and indefinitely in honor of those who have lost their lives, and those who will lose their lives, to COVID-19.
  • The NJ Economic Development Authority this morning began accepting applications for grants of up to $5,000 under its Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.
    • Get more information and get the application here.
    • Businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as there is expected to be high demand for the program that is currently capped at $5 million.
    • The NJ EDA has established the toll-free number 844-965-1125 for inquiries related to its Small Business Emergency Assistance offerings.
      • The hours are Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Paterson mayor Andre Sayegh, public safety director Jerry Speziale, chief of fire Brian McDermott, and chief of police Michael Baycora announce that there will be COVID-19 testing for all essential personnel in the fire and police department.

April 2

  • With 3,489 more cases, a total of 25,590 New Jersey residents have now tested positive for COVID-19.

    • With nearly all labs in the state reporting information, out of 56,915 test performed, 23,395 tested positive, for an overall positivity rate of 41.11%
    • Officials say test results may be from specimens collected up to 10 to 14 days ago, meaning the positive case numbers do not reflect the effects of social distancing orders and likely will not for another week.
  • With 182 new deaths reported today, 537 residents have now died from the coronavirus.

    • 47% of those who have died were over the age of 80, 35% had documented underlying health conditions, and 14% of deaths, or 76 total, are associated with longterm care facilities.
      • 110 long-term care facilities, out of 375 total in the state, now have at least one positive COVID-19 case.
  • Gov. Murphy says the Field Medical Station at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus is expected to open Monday.
    • The 250-bed hospital will take not be taking coronavirus patients — it will take non-acute patients in an effort to free up space at acute care hospitals for COVID-19 patients.
    • The staff working at these sites will be prepared to treat patients if they develop COVID-19 while at the site.
    • The hospital is the first of three field hospitals expected to open in New Jersey — the following two will open in Edison and Atlantic City and the hospitals will add 1,000 hospital beds total.
      • A 500-bed hospital at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison is expected to be ready April 8
      • Another 250-bed hospital at the Atlantic Center Convention Center is scheduled to be up and running April 14
    • Staffing has mainly been obtained through the state’s volunteer portal, as well as the National Guard.
  • Murphy has signed an executive order formally authorizing State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan to commandeer equipment necessary for the state’s COVID-19 response, from N-95 masks to ventilators.
    • Murphy also signed an administrative order permitting blood drives to continue to ensure the state meets medical needs.
  • A record 206,253 new unemployment claims were filed with the state Department of Labor last week. That brings the two-week total to more than 362,000.
    • The previous record was set in November 2012 after Superstorm Sandy, when initial claims rose to more than 46,000 in a single week.
    • Data released by the US Department of Labor shows nearly 156,000 New Jersey residents are currently collecting unemployment, about 51,000 more than the prior week.
  • Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence Township is operating a drive-up testing site for Mercer County residents, open weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. To receive an appointment, a doctor must send a notification to the site stating the patient meets the requirements for a test.
  • The New Jersey Department of Education, NJTV and the New Jersey Education Association have partnered to begin “NJTV Learning Live” a new public television program featuring lessons taught by New Jersey educators in the subjects of English Language Arts, math, science, social studies, art music and physical education. Programming will include an hour each day for grades 3-6, beginning at 9 a.m.
  • Department of Children and Families Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer says more than 600 child care centers are now open to provide emergency child care for essential workers — including heath care professionals and first responders.
    • Eligible employees can find more information at childcarenj.gov/Emergency, including information about available subsidies.

April 1

  • New Jersey has received an additional 3,649 positive test results, bringing the total number of positive test results to 22,255
  • The state has also learned of an additional 91 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 355.
  • The Department of Justice announced that it is making $850 million available to help public safety agencies respond to the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19.
    • The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recently passed stimulus legislation, will allow eligible state, local and tribal governments to apply immediately for these critical funds.
  • Governor Murphy signed an executive order:
    • Authorizing the Division of Consumer Affairs to temporarily reactivate the licensees of health care professionals previously licensed in the State within the last five years.
      • This will enable doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who have recently retired or have allowed their licenses to lapse to temporarily reactivate their license.  
    • Authorizing the Division of Consumer Affairs to grant temporary medical licenses to doctors who are licensed and in good standing in foreign countries.
    • Temporarily waiving certain scope of practice restrictions on Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) related to physician collaboration, including a rule requiring that an APN enter into a joint protocol with a collaborating physician and a rule requiring APNs to obtain authorization from a collaborating physician in order to dispense narcotic drugs. 
    • Temporarily waiving certain scope of practice restrictions on Physician Assistants (PAs) related to physician supervision, including a rule requiring PAs to obtain physician authorization prior to prescribing a controlled dangerous substance.  
    • If you are qualified and would like to volunteer your services visit: covid19.nj.gov/volunteer
  • The Governor said that NJ has secured an additional 350 ventilators from the national stockpile, bringing the total number of additional ventilators obtained by the state to 850.
    • He also said that the state has secured on it’s own, in addition to anything the federal government has provided, an additional 10 million pieces of personal protective equipment.
  • Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that 93 long term care facilities in the state are reporting at least one positive case of COVID-19.
  • Col. Callahan of the NJ State Police announced that there were 4 incidents overnight of people violating the executive order who were cited.
    • He also said that the State Police are partnering with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office to help ensure 100% compliance with the executive order as Lakewood continues to be a source of various violations.
    • The Newark Police Department, operating under a zero-tolerance policy, issued 125 summonses last night and closed five businesses.
  • Of the two FEMA testing sites, only the Bergen County site will be open tomorrow from 8 a.m. on. The Monmouth county site will be closed.
  • The FAFSA renewal application deadline for eligible college students has been extended from April 15 to June 1.
  • Governor Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin announced an extension of the state tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15.
    • In conjunction with this announcement, they also said they are extending the end of the state fiscal year from June 30 to September 30 to take some stress off of the state budget process.
  • The Small Business Administration put out guidelines for businesses looking to apply for funds from the $349B Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act:
    • The application process will begin Friday, April 3 for small businesses and sole proprietorships that can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
    • On April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
    • For additional information, please see the fact sheet for borrowers,  fact sheet for lendersoverview of program and borrowers loan application.
  • The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will launch the application for its Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program on Friday, April at 9 a.m.
  • Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo announced that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez announced that she has tested positive for the coronavirus.

March 31

  • New Jersey has received an additional 2,196 positive test results, bringing the total number of positive test results to 18,696.
  • The state has also learned of an additional 69 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 267.
    • 55% Male and 45% female
    • 1% were less than 30 years of age
    • 12% were between 30 years and 48 years
    • 17% were between 50 years and 64 years
    • 30% were between 65 years and 79 years
    • 47% were over the age of 80
    • 42% had underlying conditions (obesity, diabetes, hypertension etc.)
  • Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli says 44,330 tests have now been run in the state, resulting in 17,253 positive tests, for an overall positivity rate of 38.92%.
  • NJ State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan says a total of 383 law-enforcement officers across New Jersey have tested positive for COVID-19, and 3,081 are self-quarantining at home.
  • DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe announced NJ state parks, forests and wildlife management areas are open for passive recreational activities (walking, biking, hiking and fishing) and will waive all park entrance fees.
    • Park restrooms will be closed during this time.
    • Visitors must practice social distancing if they visit the parks.
    • Playgrounds and exercise areas will be closed and roped off.
  •  Senator Cory Booker today urged a trade group representing medical technology companies that manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies to begin mobilizing its member companies to increase production to address the dire shortage.
  • New Jersey has 100% compliance from municipal water companies voluntarily halting all service shut-offs throughout the pandemic.
  • Residents may anonymously report any instances of unlawful practices, such as inappropriately prescribing drugs, to www.covid19.nj.gov
  • Employers are eligible for a dollar-for-dollar federal payroll tax credit against costs incurred by keeping workers on payroll.
  • Workers who are eligible for unemployment insurance will receive an addition $600 per week through July 31st 2020.
  • Wednesday, April 1st the PNC Bank Arts Center testing site will be open at 8AM.
    • Only symptomatic residence will be tested
    • Bergen Community College testing site will be closed
  • 3 more county testing sites are preparing to open
    1. Middlesex County
      • Location: Kilmer Vehicle Inspection Site
      • Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10A – 2P
      • Testing by appointments only
      • Middlesex County residents only
      • Visit: www.middlesexcountynj.gov/COVID19testing
    2. Camden County
      • Location: Coopers Poynt Park
      • Open weekdays from 12P – 4P
      • Open through April 15th
      • Testing by appointments only
      • Camden County residents only
    3. Ocean County
      • Location: Ocean County College
      • Testing by appointments only
      • Ocean County residents only
      • Visit ochd.org
  • Currently 81 of NJ’s 375 longterm care facilities have reported at least 1 positive COVID-19 case.
  • The Department of Health has issued new guidelines for longterm care facilities.
    • Universal masking of all visitors and staff on entering a facility.
    • All symptomatic residents should be masked while receiving direct care.
    • Facilities must create separate wings, units or floors to receive asymptomatic residents coming into or returning from the hospital.
    • Facilities must limit the staff working between the units to avoid any spread of the virus.
    • Facilities must create a separate wing or unit to accept COVID-19 positive residents.
  • Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today led a coalition of 21 Attorneys General in calling on the Trump Administration to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact and freeze most other federal rule-making actions.
    • The call urges the federal government to halt most rule-making unrelated to COVID-19. It also asks the Administration to consider reopening closed public-comment periods, so federal agencies can receive fresh input from state and local governments, businesses and others affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences.
  • For those who are in need of emotional support should call the New Jersey Mental Health Hotline: 1866-202-HELP
  • The mayors of East Orange, Orange, and Irvington joined forces with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka to announce a series of new operations to combat the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 
    • Operation Lockdown:
      • Starting today, the four municipalities will jointly enforce complete lockdowns on their communities for seven days.
      • On April 7, the cities will re-evaluate the situation.
      • Until then, non-essential and non-emergency travel is barred on the streets of these communities.
      • Joint police units will patrol borders and other points.
      • Violators will face summonses and other legal action.
    • Operation Clean Business:
      • Essential businesses that are allowed to remain open must clean their premises. 
      • They must frequently wipe down high touch points including doors and counters. 
      • Employees and customers must practice social distancing.
      • At the close of the business day, owners are encouraged to sanitize their businesses.
      • Health inspectors will see that this is carried out. 
    • Operation Wipedown:
      • Owners of senior citizen centers and complexes must sanitize public areas, including high touch points such as: mailboxes, elevators, doorknobs, and countertops three times a day with disinfectant.
      • Owners must sign compliance statements, saying that they have adhered to the order.
      • Inspectors will ensure that owners adhere to these policies, collecting compliance statements.
      • If inspectors find the owners have not taken required sanitization measures, the inspectors will cite the owners for appropriate legal action.
    • Operation Mobile Wellness Checks:
      • Police departments will conduct mobile patrols, making sure that people are practicing social distancing and enforcing Governor Murphy’s Executive Order. 
      • Violators will be ticketed and face legal action.

March 30

  • 3,347 more positive test results brings New Jersey’s total number of coronavirus cases to 16,636.
  • 37 more deaths due to COVID-19 complications brings the state’s total number of fatalities to 198.
  • With 95% of labs reporting to the state, there have been 40,806 tests performed with 15,582 positives, for an overall positive rate of 38.19%
  • Gov. Murphy says 3,611 individuals with medical experience have signed up so far to volunteer at the field hospitals New Jersey will be opening in the next few weeks.
  • The Trump administration is sending 300 more ventilators to New Jersey from the Strategic National Stockpile. The governor’s office has requested a total of 2,300 ventilators.
  • Murphy has issued additional clarifications to Executive Order 107, pertaining to which businesses are allowed to operate:
    • In a reversal, New Jersey will now allow firearms businesses to operate in light of new federal guidance that identifies them as “critical infrastructure.”
    • Auto dealerships are allowed to operate remotely or online, and authorized dealers can deliver directly to customers and allow customer pick-up.
    • Realtors may show homes to individuals one on one or to members of the same household. Open houses remain prohibited.
    • Breweries and brew pubs are allowed home delivery.
    • Golf courses must stay closed.
  •  Since that executive order went into effect, there have been 70 compliance violations, including 34 indictable offenses.
  • State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan says 288 law enforcement officers have COVID-19, and 2,477 are under self-quarantine.
  • The state has released new projection models based on the COVID-19 Hospital Impact Model for Epidemics, or CHIME, recently issued by the University of Pennsylvania:
    • If the state did not enforce any kind of social distancing measures and residents went about their lives normally, total hospital bed capacity would be reached by April 9, and the peak of total hospitalizations would reach nearly 80,000 patients by mid-May.
    • If 31% of resident comply with social distancing measures, total hospital bed capacity would be reached by May 8, and the peak of total hospitalizations would reach 34,000 by mid-June.
    • Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli says with 40-45% social distancing compliance, the state would likely be able to meet demand for hospital beds.
  • U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Craig Carpenito, along with Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Acting Comptroller Kevin Walsh have announced a joint federal-state “COVID-19 Fraud Task Force” to investigate and prosecute misconduct related to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • Misconduct includes unlawful hoarding of medical supplies, price gouging, charity scams, procurement fraud, insurance fraud, phishing schemes and false or misleading investment opportunities.
    • Residents can report possible misconduct at (866) 720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov. Complainants may remain anonymous.
  • Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued a temporary rule waiver for families that rely on in-home health aides to look after elderly or disabled individuals to limit the number of health care providers required to visit a patient’s home on a routine basis.
    • The waiver, which takes effect immediately,  allows supervising nurses to conduct required plan-of-care evaluations every 60 days by phone or video chat instead of in person.
  • Grewal also announced statewide restrictions, effective immediately, for the prescribing and dispensing of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, prescription drugs used to treat malaria and certain chronic inflammatory conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
    • The demand for these drugs has increased following reports that the drugs are being tested as possible treatments for COVID-19. Reports have raised concerns that the drugs are being hoarded by people who do not have an immediate need, including doctors and dentists.
    • Under the restrictions, prescribers are not to prescribe medications in short supply as a preventative measure against COVID-19 for the prescriber’s family or friends or to stockpile the drugs for office use.
    • All prescriptions written should be for treatment of conditions within the prescriber’s scope of practice, and pharmacists should not fill prescriptions if they believe the prescriber is acting outside the scope of their practice.
    • Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine may be prescribed and dispensed for treatment of COVID-19 only if supported by a positive test result, which must be documented on the prescription, and limited to a 14-day supply, with no refills permitted.

March 29

  • New Jersey has received an additional 2,262 positive test results, bringing the total number of positive test results to 13,386.
  • The state has also learned of an additional 21 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 161.
  • 163 New Jersey police officers have tested positive for the coronavirus.
    • Previously, the number of officers that had tested positive was said to be about 700. In a statement Sunday night, Col. Patrick Callahan, acting superintendent of the State Police, said the first numbers were “overstated”.
  • The CDC issued a travel advisory to residents of the tri-state area Saturday night. Urging New York, New Jersey and Connecticut residents to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14-days effective “immediately.”
    • Gov. Murphy appeared on ABC News THIS WEEK said it is “de facto happening already.” “People aren’t traveling a lot. It’s a travel advisory and we will take it seriously. We are pounding the table morning, noon and night: Stay home, stay home, stay home.”
  •  Rutgers University is among the first in the country to expedite graduation of medical students. 192 graduates will now be eligible to begin residencies in the coming weeks.
  • Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco opened a mobile, drive-thru COVID-19 test site for symptomatic first responders and health care professionals who live or work in Bergen County only. The drive-thru test site will be located at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus.
March 28
  • New Jersey has received an additional 2,289 positive test results, bringing the total number of positive test results to 11,124.
  • The state has also learned of an additional 32 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 140.
  • Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli says 29,822 tests have now been run in the state, resulting in 10,436 positive tests, for an overall positivity rate of 34.9%.
  • Gov. Phil Murphy announced a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments for borrowers who have been economically impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Gov. Phil Murphy said that under an executive order, landlords can’t evict tenants during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Gov. Phil Murphy to sign an executive order requiring all designated health care facilities to report their daily number of ventilators, bed capacity and their personal protective equipment inventory to the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and the New Jersey Department of Health.
  • Gov. Phil Murphy today detailed two new initiatives that will assist health care organizations with expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • A $140 million pre-payment to health care providers to support preparations related to COVID-19.
    • The New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority (NJHCFFA) has launched a $6 million emergency loan program to assist New Jersey’s health care organizations during this time.
  • Bergen County to open COVID-19 drive-thru test Site for Bergen County first responders and health care professionals on Sunday.

March 27

  • With 1,982 new cases overnight, 8,825 residents in New Jersey have now tested positive for COVID-19.
  • State officials have announced 27 more deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total number of fatalities to 108.
  • Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli says 24,843 tests have now been run in the state, resulting in 8,296 positive tests, for an overall positivity rate of 33.4%.
    • As of Thursday, Persichilli says 1,080 patients currently in the state’s hospitals have tested positive, and an additional 1,872 patients are awaiting results.
    • Because of a seven-day backlog of testing results, numbers reported today likely do not take into account the effects of ramped-up social distancing orders.
    • Persichilli also announced 55 of the state’s 375 long-term care facilities report at least 1 positive case of COVID-19.
  • In order to staff three field hospitals that are in the process of coming online, Gov. Phil Murphy has put out a call for volunteers both in New Jersey and across the country with qualified medical training to help staff the new hospitals.
    • Those who may be qualified include: Retired nurses and doctors, nursing and medical students, EMTs and former members of armed services medical corps.
    • Interested individuals can sign up at covid19.nj.gov/volunteer
    • The first hospital is slated to open at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in about a week. Commissioner Persichilli says that site will be a general hospital, not only for COVID-19 patients. The second hospital, at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, will be dedicated to treating COVID-19 patients. The third hospital will be at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
  • Murphy says he has authorized the advanced payment of more than $140 million to health care providers to prepare them for COVID-19 related expenses, including expanding capacity.
  • On Saturday beginning at 8 a.m., the FEMA-supported testing site at Bergen Community College will limit COVID-19 screenings to first responders and health care professionals with symptoms who provide identification proving they either live or work in the county.
  • The testing site at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel will also be limited to symptomatic first responders and health care professionals on Saturday, March 28.
  • Beginning Sunday March 29, the two FEMA-supported testing sites will alternate – with only one site open each day.
    • On Sunday, only the BCC site will be open, starting at 8 a.m., to symptomatic New Jersey residents, and can test 500 people.
    • On Monday March 30, only the PNC Bank Arts Center testing site will be open starting at 8 a.m. to test 500 NJ residents.
  • On Sunday, more than 200,000 New Jersey households enrolled in NJ SNAP will receive an extra benefit payment to help address food needs related to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • A total of $70 million in extra NJ SNAP benefits will be provided over the next two months to help residents enrolled in the program purchase groceries.
    • Residents who need food assistance can visit and apply for SNAP online at www.NJHelps.org.
  • NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton says all of the agency’s road test and inspection facilities will remain closed through April 12 in an effort to keep people from coming in close proximity with one another.
    • Other commission operations continue online, including those that support commercial trucking to keep the supply chain moving. Fulton says residents can also take care of many requirements through the MVC’s online portal – including license renewal or replacement, change of address, and registration renewal.
    • The MVC previously granted a two-month extension for drivers licenses, auto registration and inspections that are due for renewal in March, April or May. For example, a license expiring on April 1 is now good through June 1.
    • The federal REAL ID requirement has been extended for another year, until October 2021 to give customers more time to come into compliance.
  • Republican Congressman Chris Smith announces he has persuaded U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to release a shipment of 41.3 million medical-grade gloves to medical professionals and first responders.
    • 32.5 million gloves produced by Ansell are being held at the port in Baltimore, Maryland, and a shipment of 8.8 million gloves are in Oakland, California.
    • “In light of that fact that New Jersey has the second highest number of cases of any state in the country, Ansell has assured me that many of these will be put to use here in New Jersey,” Smith said.
  • Asbury Park is the latest Jersey shore town to close its boardwalk. While its beaches remain open to the public, the Monmouth County town says restricting boardwalk access is meant to ensure social distancing.
    • Other towns that have closed their beaches or boardwalks include:
      • Seaside Heights (beaches and boardwalk closed)
      • Spring Lake (boardwalk closed, beaches open)
      • Point Pleasant (boardwalk closed, beaches open)
      • Lavallette (beaches and boardwalk closed)
      • Ocean City (beaches and boardwalk closed)
March 26
  • New Jersey has received an additional 2,492 positive test results, bringing the total number of positive test results to 6,876.
  • The state has also learned of an additional 19 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 81.
    • 3 of the 19 reported deaths were associated with longterm care facilities.
      • 43 of the 375 nursing homes/long-term facilities in New Jersey have at least one resident being reported as positive for COVID-19.
  • Decisions regarding the reopening of schools in the state will not be made until April 17th at the earliest.
  • Bergen Community College and PNC Bank Arts Center testing sites will ONLY accept symptomatic healthcare workers and first responder (Police, Fire and EMS) on Saturday, March 28th.
    • Beginning Saturday, April 4th the PNC Bank Arts Center testing site will ONLY accept symptomatic healthcare workers and first responder going forward.
  • 155,000 workers in New Jersey have applied for unemployment due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Gov. Murphy has signed legislation to expand temporary disability insurance and family leave insurance.
  • New Jersey has requested from the National Strategic Stockpile an additional 4.5 million N-95 masks and 2,500 ventilators for state healthcare facilities to combat COVID-19.
  • New Jersey has created an online forum through which businesses and non hospital healthcare facilities, in possession of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), not required for the provision of critical healthcare services can submit information regarding their inventory to provide to facilities in need.
    • Information must be provided by Friday, March 26 at 5 p.m.
    • The form is available at www.covid19.nj.gov/PPEreport
  • Residents who want to donate personal protective equipment to assist medical professionals should contact www.covid.nj.gov/PPEdonations or PPEdonations@njsp.org
  • Gov. Phil Murphy today announced that President Donald J. Trump has issued a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of New Jersey.
    • The declaration will provide federal assistance to supplement statewide recovery efforts affected by the COVID-19 pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020
  • Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has announced a strict city-wide “shelter-in-place” mandate that will be enforced in a more muscular way.
    • Exceptions:
      • Supermarkets and local stores to collect essentials
      • Pharmacy/Prescription pick-ups
      • Doctors visits
      • Walking dogs
      • Stepping out to get fresh air in front or back of home/doorstep/porch/terrace
    • Children need to be accompanied by an adult and people should only leave their homes in pairs.
  • Baraka also announced a program that will provide small businesses and small non-profit agencies with emergency grants.
  • Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora is announcing the creation of the Small Business Fiscal Relief Program; a new City initiative to support local small businesses during this time of economic hardship.
    • Terms of the loans will include the following:

      • 60-month (5-year) repayment term
      • No payments and 0% interest for the first year
      • 2% interest amortized over the remaining term of the loan (48 months)
  • The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board approved a suite of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
    • The package of initiatives includes a grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information.
  • Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Public Safety officials announced today new policies in response to the international Covid-19 pandemic, including an increase to police community presence and emergency response.
  • Jersey City will be opening two new testing sites, one drive-thru site and one walk-up site, located on either side of Jersey City to best accommodate its residents who need to be tested for COVID-19.
  • The NJ Department of Corrections have 3 new confirmed cases (among officers) of COVID-19, bringing their total to 4 confirmed cases.
    • No prisoner has tested positive for COVID19.
  • NJ Human Services announces $70 million in food assistance for vulnerable families in New Jersey amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.
    • More than 200,000 households will receive enhanced NJ SNAP benefits.
March 25
  • NJ has received an additional 736 positive test results, bringing the total number of positive test results to 4,402
  • The state also learned of an additional 18 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 62
    • 11 of the 18 deaths were males, 7 were females
    • Their ages ranged from 52 to 93
    • 50% had underlying conditions, nine are still under investigation
    • Five were associated with long term care facilities
  • The Governor announced today that he signed an executive order requiring all childcare centers in the state to certify by Friday that they are only caring for the children of essential personnel.
    • Those that cannot certify will be required to close by Wednesday, April 1.
  • Governor Murphy said at a press conference that the state has 18,433 acute care beds, including 2,000 for people requiring critical care. He says the goal is to increase capacity by 2,360
  • NJ will open four FEMA field hospitals with 250 beds each.
    • The first will open at the Meadowlands Exposition Center
    • Then the NJ Convention Center in Edison
    • Then Atlantic City’s Convention Hall
    • A fourth site will be identified later
  • Governor Murphy tweeted that the US Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $1.9 million to help 24 health centers in New Jersey address screening and testing needs, acquire medical supplies, and boost telehealth capacity.
  • Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco has announced that the County will begin accepting donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as respirator/surgical masks, medical face shields/goggles, protective medical gowns and latex gloves
    • Donations will be accepted at the Annex Building located at 220 East Ridgewood Avenue in Paramus, N.J. (located behind Bergen New Bridge Medical Center off Pascack Road and Ridgewood Avenue) beginning tomorrow, Thursday, March 26
    •  The site will remain open every weekday, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Newark’s Mayor Ras Baraka announced today that he will invest up to $6 million in six initiatives to keep Newark’s most impacted residents safe, healthy, and financially secure.
    • The six programs will be introduced almost daily through April 3
    • They include:
      • Up to $2 million investment in a small business and non-profit emergency fund with grants up to $10,000 for 200 qualified businesses.
      • Approximately $1 million investment in rapid, short-term rental housing for 300 of the most vulnerable Newark residents, including those without permanent addresses.
      • Up to $1 million investment in community-based non-profits that serve Newark residents.
      • A $1 million investment in the “Live Newark” program to provide down payment and rehabilitation funds for up to 100 Newark homeowners.
      • Up to $750,000 arts initiative investment that will assist up to 30 arts and cultural organizations with operating funds and capital funds.
      • The mayor has directed the tax assessor to accept applications from building owners with business tenants who have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The buildings will be reassessed to reduce the taxes owed by the building and the tax savings will be passed along to the small business tenants in form of a rent reduction.
  • Essex County announced that they will be opening a drive through COVID-19 testing center tomorrow for county residents only.
  • The governor through executive order added certain businesses to the list of those considered to be “essential” and therefore allowed to remain open:
    • Mobile phone retail and repair shops
    • Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair
    • Livestock feed stores
    • Nurseries and garden centers
    • Farming equipment stores
    • The new administrative order on essential businesses also clarifies that municipalities may impose additional restrictions on beaches and boardwalks.
  • Mayor Steve Fulop announced today that Jersey City is projecting a $70M financial loss amid the COVID-19 outbreak: $50 million in revenue loss coupled with $20 million in added expenses in response to the health crisis.
  • The City of Paterson announced that it would be closing all city parks indefinitely beginning today.
March 24
  • With 846 new cases reported overnight, New Jersey now has 3,675 total positive cases of coronavirus.
    • 17 more deaths brings the state’s total number of fatalities to 44.
    • 35% of cases are between the ages of 30 years and 49 years.
  • As of 8 a.m., New Jersey has the second highest number of coronavirus cases of any state in the country, behind only New York, which has more than 25,600 cases.
  • Gov. Murphy, the Attorney General as well a the Department of Education have applied for a federal waiver to cancel all student standardized testing schedules for April.
    • All schools will still be postponed until further notice.
  • A second shipment of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) will be delivered to the frontline medical community.
    • 200,000 N95 masks
    • 84,000 respirators and other gear
  • PSEG will contribute 50,000 N95 mask to the NJ medical community.
  • The Department of Environmental Protection with the Board of Public Utilities called on all municipal water utilities to suspend all water shut-offs during the outbreak.
  • NJ is the first state to create a jobs portal for those who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • 4 field hospitals have been approved by the federal government and FEMA in the following locations:
    1. Meadowlands Exposition Center
    2. Edison Convention Center
    3. Atlantic City Convention Center
    4. TBD Urban Search and Rescue Location
  • Passaic County will be opening a COVID-19 testing center tomorrow at William Paterson University.
    • Test site is only open to Passaic County residents with a note from their doctors.
  • All complaints regarding companies/employers that are not complying with the mandated COVID-19 procedures should be directed to the following number: 609-963-6817
  • NJ Treasury is freezing nearly a billion dollars in spending as fiscal uncertainty over COVID-19  mounts.

  • Mayor Steven M. Fulop and health officials announced today, the city is increasing humanitarian efforts during the Coronavirus pandemic by expanding life-saving services for the homeless – including the reopening of free public showers, supplying meals and personal hygiene kits to support them, while also assisting the county to secure temporary housing for the homeless to self-quarantine.
  • Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the New Jersey Bureau of Securities within the Division of Consumer Affairs announced today that the Bureau is taking emergency action to ease the path for financial services professionals who live in New Jersey to work in New Jersey at a time when social distancing measures related to COVID-19 make it harder for them to commute into New York City.
    • The Emergency Order allows New Jersey residents who work and are registered as financial professionals in other states – but not in this state – to temporarily conduct activities with, or on behalf of, existing customers or clients from their homes or temporary offices in New Jersey.
    • The Bureau is also reminding investors in New Jersey to beware of financial predators who may see an opportunity to trick investors into so-called “safer, guaranteed investments” that are really scams.
  • Stockton University will postpone its traditional graduation ceremonies in May. Instead, the university will hold a virtual ceremony now and plan for a traditional Commencement in the fall.
  • Rutgers has created a new center to coordinate the university’s myriad research and public health and outreach efforts to combat COVID-19.
    • The center’s goal is to serve as an institutional hub for Rutgers’ COVID-19 research activities and information dissemination.
  • Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, who has been at the forefront of efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, has taken personal measures to flatten the curve.  County Executive Tedesco, who is not experiencing any symptoms, has decided to self-quarantine at the recommendation of the Bergen County Health Officer after attending a press conference with an individual identified as COVID-19 positive.
  • Gov. Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan today announced an Administrative Order, permitting additional retail businesses to operate during their normal business hours. Effective immediately, the following businesses are considered essential in accordance with Executive Order No. 107:
    • Mobile phone retail and repair shops
    • Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair
    • Livestock feed stores
    • Nurseries and garden centers
    • Farming equipment stores
      • Businesses that remain operational must comply with social distancing.

 

March 23
  • With 935 new cases reported overnight, New Jersey now has 2,844 total positive cases of coronavirus.
    • 7 more deaths brings the state’s total number of fatalities to 27.
  • As of 2 p.m., New Jersey has the second highest number of coronavirus cases of any state in the country, behind only New York, which has more than 20,800 cases.
  • New Jersey’s second FEMA-supported drive-thru testing site is now open at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.
    • Residents looking to get tested there must show proof of New Jersey residence and have symptoms such as cough or fever.
    • The site expects to collect samples from 300 to 400 people per day and has the resources to test 2,500 people per week.
    • The first FEMA test site in New Jersey opened at Bergen Community College on Friday.
  • Hudson County has opened a test site at Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus. It is open to residents of Hudson County or to first responders who work in the county, and anyone wishing to get tested there must be exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness and must make an appointment by calling 201-388-1097.
  • Gov. Murphy has signed Executive Order 109, directing the suspension of all elective surgeries and invasive procedures performed on adults that are scheduled to take place after 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27.
    • The executive order applies to all medical and dental operations that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of the patient, as determined by the patient’s physician or dentist.
  • Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Jared Maples is directing all commercial laboratories to report their coronavirus test results to the New Jersey Department of Health to make sure the state has the most accurate and up-to-date information.
  • In an unprecedented move, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner signed a consent order calling for the state’s county jails to temporarily release up to 1,000 inmates in an effort to lessen the spread of coronavirus within the correctional system.
    • Inmates will be considered for release if they are serving a sentence:
      • As a condition of probation
      • As a result of a municipal court conviction
      • For a fourth-degree crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense
    • All individuals who are released will have to comply with the statewide stay at home order and complete their sentences when the public health emergency concludes.
    • Prosecutors can challenge the release of specific individuals if they contend release could pose a significant risk to the individual or to public safety.
  • Residents who are feeling the emotional and mental toll of coronavirus can now call a hotline for free, confidential support.
    • NJ Mental Health Cares is staffing 1-866-202-HELP (4357) with trained specialists to take calls from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.
  • Residents who want to donate personal protective equipment to assist medical professionals should contact PPEdonations@njsp.org
  • Lieutenant Governor and DCA Commissioner Sheila Oliver, DEP commissioner Catherine McCabe and Board of Public Utilities President Joe Fiordaliso are asking all water providers, public and private, including those operated by municipal governments, to suspend shut-off orders during the COVID-19 outbreak in the event residents are unable to pay their water bills.
March 22
  • The state received 590 new positive COVID-19 test results overnight, bringing the state total to 1,914.
    • There have been 4 additional deaths, bringing the total of COVID-19 related fatalities to 20.
  • On Monday, Union County is opening a county-run, drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at Kean University for residents, first responders, and essential personnel.
    • Testing is by-appointment only and residents must be registered by their doctor or health care provider.
    • The testing location will not allow patients without vehicles to enter the campus, even with a valid prescription and appointment.
  • Gov. Murphy will be announcing critical telehealth and telemental health options for more than 3 million residents.
    • They will be accessible without co-pays.
March 21
  • The state has 442 new coronavirus cases overnight — bringing the state total to 1,327.
    • There have been 5 more deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related fatalities to 16. The victims include:
      • A male in his 40s from Bergen County
      • A male in his 50s from Monmouth County
      • A female in her 70s from Morris County
      • A male in his 80s from Essex County
      • A male in his 90s from Bergen County
  • Gov. Murphy signs an executive order requiring all New Jersey residents to “stay at home.” Under the executive order, all gatherings are canceled – including weddings, in-person services and parties.
    • The governor said the rules would remain in effect “for weeks to months”
    • Non-essential retail businesses are ordered to close indefinitely effective at 9pm on Saturday.
    • Businesses allowed to continue to operate include:
      • Grocery stores
      • Pharmacies
      • Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
      • Gas stations
      • Auto Repair/Mechanics
      • Convenience stores
      • Banks
      • Medical Supply stores
      • Hardware/Home Improvement stores
      • Laundromats/Dry Cleaners
      • Printing/Office Supply stores
      • Mail & Delivery shops
      • Restaurants/Liquor Stores/Bars (for delivery and takeout only)
      • Construction site work
      • Manufacturing/Trucking/Transportation operations
  • Gov. Murphy signs a second executive order requiring all rules laid out by the state to supersede orders issued by county and municipal officials
  • Gov. Murphy announced the launch of a new, online COVID-19 Information Hub. The governor described it as a “one-stop shop for answers to frequently asked questions, important information and updates, a list of phone numbers and other available resources.”
  • Gov. Murphy recommended any worker left unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic to seek help through the state’s online portal.
  • Gov. Murphy urged families who have homes on the Jersey shore to not travel to their shore homes. He asked families to stay in their primary homes because the local health care infrastructure is not prepared.
  • Gov. Murphy mandates the indefinite closure of all municipal, county, and State public libraries in addition to all libraries and computer labs at public and private colleges and universities.
March 20
  • The state received an additional 155 positive COVID-19 tests, bringing the total to 890.
  • There were also two additional deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 11.
    • One was a 37-year-old male from Essex County.
    • One was a 52-year-old male from Bergen County.
  • Gov. Murphy signed several pieces of legislation that:
    • Prohibits an employer during the ongoing Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency from terminating or refusing to reinstate an employee who has, or is likely to have, an infectious disease which requires the employee to miss time at work.
    • Authorizes the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to make grants during a state of emergency or a public health emergency. The EDA will also be authorized to grant certain business documentation submission deadline extensions.
    • Provides county clerks with additional week to mail ballots for 2020 primary election; requires ballot position draw to occur one day early if statutory date falls on holiday
    • Requires school districts to provide school meals or meal vouchers to students eligible for free and reduced price school meals during school closures due to COVID-19 epidemic
    • Requires health insurance and Medicaid coverage for testing of coronavirus disease 2019 and for telemedicine and telehealth during coronavirus disease 2019 state of emergency
    • Modifies deadline by which public agency is required to respond to request for government record during period of emergency
    • Allows public bodies to conduct meetings, and provide notice, by electronic means during periods of emergency
    • Permits extension of deadlines for adoption of county and municipal budgets under certain circumstances
    • Authorizes all licensed health care facilities and laboratories to collect specimens to test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); allows waiver of staffing ratio requirements
    • Requires food access information be displayed on websites of 2-1-1 system and executive branch departments during public health emergencies to the extent practicable
    • Permits corporations to hold shareholders’ meetings in part or solely by means of remote communication during state of emergency
    • Limits return of items purchased from retail food stores under certain circumstances
    • Urges FCC to take temporary measures to secure broadband access for those affected by COVID-19
  • The CEO of Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, Michael Maron, announced that he has tested positive COVID-19
  • Murphy announced that a total of 654 people were tested at the Bergen County Community College FEMA testing center on its first day of operation.
    • The second FEMA testing center, located at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, will be opening Monday, March 23 at 8 a.m.
  • Murphy announced new partnerships with the private sector. Testing for COVID-19 is now being performed in the state by both LabCorp and BioReference Laboratories.
    • In addition, the state’s Public Health and Environmental Laboratories will soon be able to process over 1,000 tests a day
  • Health commissioner Judith Persichilli announced the halting of all adult health day care services in every county.
  • The health commissioner also announced that she had conducted a walk through of a facility in Woodbury with the Army Corps of Engineers that the Corps deemed acceptable to be used as an additional facility to handle any overflow.
    • The facility needs to be cleaned and is expected to be ready to go within 3-4 weeks
    • Bringing this facility back online will create an additional 300 hospital beds in the state.
  • The Camden City School District announced that, effective Monday, March 23, meals will only be distributed on Mondays and Thursdays.
    • Enough food will be sent home for several days. For example, on Mondays enough food will be provided for three days (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) and Thursday enough food will be provided for two days (Thursday and Friday).
    • Hours of Operation: Monday and Thursday from 10 AM to 12 PM
  • Murphy, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf requested at least $100B from the federal government in the form of a direct cash assistance program to provide an immediate financial infusion to all four states to help cover costs related to COVID-19 response operations.
  • The Murphy administration announced that it will require hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers to waive patient fees for COVID-19 testing and related diagnostic services for those who lack health insurance.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ordering all workers in non-essential businesses to stay home and banning gatherings statewide. Nonessential gatherings of individuals of any size or for any reason are canceled or postponed.
  • NJ Transit has adjusted its operating schedule in order to deal with the decrease in ridership.
    • All weekday rail service, with the exception of Atlantic City Rail Line (ACRL), will operate on weekend schedules with the following modifications until further notice.
      • Gladstone Branch rail service will operate on weekdays only.
      • Eight extra trips will operate between Dover and Hoboken during weekdays only.  Departure times for these trains will be available on njtransit.com.
      • ACRL will operate on a regular weekday schedule.
  • State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso are urging people to stay away from the COVID-19 testing site that is being constructed at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Monmouth County until a formal announcement is made about its opening. The facility has not yet opened and having people drive through the site is hindering construction efforts.
March 19
  • The state now has 742 total cases of COVID-19 with the addition of 318 positive test results.
    • Bergen County still has the highest number of cases at 80
    • The age range for those infected is now 3 years to 95 years.
  • There were four additional fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths in NJ to nine.
    • One Monmouth County female in her 70s
    • One Ocean County male in his 70s
    • One Essex County male in his 60s
    • One Bergen County male in his 30s
  • Gov. Murphy signed into law a bill to expand access to telehealth services and to allow professional and occupational licensing board to expedite licensure of out-of-state professionals.
  • Gov. Murphy signed into law a bill that allows for the conduct of state business and legislative sessions at locations other than Trenton during periods of emergency or other exigency. It also allows for the conduct of legislative business using electronic means.
  • Gov. Murphy signed an executive declaring a moratorium on removing individuals from their homes pursuant to an eviction or foreclosure proceeding.
    • The order comes a day after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac announced they would be suspending all foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days.
    • The governor is also asking any financial institution holding residential or commercial mortgages, equity loans, lines of credit or business loans, to implement a process to work with the mortgagors or loan holders to avoid foreclosure or default arising out financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or by any local, state, or federal government response to COVID-19.
  • New Jersey’s state senate has passed a package of 27 bills to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak. The state Assembly advanced the same bills earlier this week, which means they will now head to the governor for his signature. At his daily briefing the governor promised to swiftly review and sign the bills. Here is a sampling of some of the bills and what they would cover:
    • S-2304: would provide that an employee is eligible for earned sick leave, family temporary disability leave, temporary disability leave or family leave, as appropriate, if they are unable to work during a state of emergency because a physician or public health authority has determined they should quarantine to protect the health of others.

    • A-3813/S-2292: would allow remote learning to apply to the 180-day instruction requirement for school districts during extended emergency school closures. This bill would apply for both a declared state of emergency and a public health emergency.

    • A-3840/S-2281: would require school districts to provide meals to students enrolled in the free or reduced meal program during COVID-19 school closings. The bill provides direction as to how schools may distribute meals or meal vouchers.

    • A-3843/S-2283: would require health insurance and Medicaid to cover testing for COVID-19, telehealth and telemedicine services, without cost-sharing requirements, during the state of emergency.

    • A-3846/S-2293: would create the “Temporary Lost Wage Unemployment Program” to allow those affected by coronavirus to recoup wages lost and to assist employers who pay wages to workers under quarantine. The bill appropriates $20 million for the program.

    • A-3848/S-2301: would prohibit an employer from terminating, or refusing to reinstate, an employee who takes time off from work at the recommendation of a medical professional due to an infectious disease.

    • A-3865/S-2291: would prohibit retail food stores from accepting the return of any groceries and other food products purchased during, and for 30 days following, a state of emergency declared in response to COVID-19.

  • Congressman Andy Kim announced that he will self-quarantine for two weeks following direct contact with a member of Congress who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The NJ Department of Health has identified positive COVID-19 cases in six nursing home facilities around the state
    • Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli has ordered admissions to these facilities to be curtailed
  • Gov. Murphy announced that the first state-run drive-through COVID-19 testing center will be opening March 20 at Bergen County Community College. A testing center in Monmouth County at PNC Bank Arts Center is expected to open soon.
    • The center at Bergen County Community College will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.
    • Priority will be given to health care workers.
    • Those that are asymptomatic will be turned away.
  • The governor ordered the closure of all personal care businesses that cannot comply with social distancing policies by 8 p.m. tonight
    • This would include businesses such as barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors, etc.
  • The governor signed an Executive Order regarding the upcoming elections in the state.
    • The Order specifically requires the following, effective immediately:
      • Candidates filing petitions for the March 30th deadline shall be able to submit their petitions online, in addition to in person, and the Secretary of State shall create an online form that allows voters to submit their signatures on petitions electronically.
      • The March 21, 2020 special election in Fire District 1 for the Township of Old Bridge shall be postponed until May 12, 2020, to be held concurrently with the municipal non-partisan elections currently scheduled for that date.
      • The March 31, 2020 special elections in the Township of West Amwell and Atlantic City shall be postponed until May 12, 2020, to be held concurrently with the municipal non-partisan elections currently scheduled for that date.
      • The school board elections scheduled for April 21, 2020 shall also be postponed until May 12, 2020, to be held concurrently with the municipal non-partisan elections currently scheduled for that date.
      • All elections scheduled for May 12, 2020, both before and after this Order takes effect, shall be conducted solely via vote-by-mail ballots.
      • No changes announced as of yet to the primary election scheduled to take place June 2.
  • NJ Transit announced that they are requesting $1.25B in federal aid to replace lost revenue and support COVID-19 related expenses. The agency has seen an 88% decrease in ridership since March 9 and is experiencing increased costs due to the extra cleaning being done to help prevent the spread of the virus.
  • The Township of Union began a town-wide Senior Citizen Wellness Check effort. Throughout the week, Township of Union personnel will place phone calls to Union residents age 62 or older who have a landline or a cellphone. If the resident is not home, a message will be left and a follow-up call will be made.
  • Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco rescinded his Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in the County at the request of the governor.
    • The Executive Order that would have mandated the closing of shopping malls and other businesses, reduced restaurants to take-out and delivery, and put restrictions big box stores was slated to go into effect Saturday at 8 a.m.
  • Senate President Steve Sweeney urged companies with subscription-based billing to suspend the fees associated with early termination.
  • The Office of the Attorney General today released some guidance on how New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination applies to individuals who have COVID-19
    • Your employer cannot fire you because you coughed at work and they perceived
      you to have a disability related to COVID-19.
    • If you have east-Asian heritage and a coworker repeatedly harasses you by claiming that Asian people caused COVID-19 or calling this “the Chinese virus,” your employer must take reasonable action to stop the harassment if they knew or should have known about it.
    • For more information check out the guidance offered by the OAG here.
  •  The U.S. Small Business Administration named New Jersey a ‘declared disaster state’ in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The declaration will allow New Jersey small business owners impacted by the pandemic to apply for financial assistance.
    • To apply for an SBA loan, click here.
    • For guidance on SBA loans, click here.
    • Sen. Bob Menendez proposed a bill that would make these loans, up to $2 million, interest-free
March 18
  • The state now has a total of 427 cases of COVID-19, with the addition of 162 positive test results. There were two new fatalities reported, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to five.
    • The age range for the total number of cases are 5 years to 95 years. The median age is 52.
  • 260 additional beds are being brought online to area hospitals
    • 199 in northern NJ
    • 11 in central NJ
    • 50 in southern NJ
  • 277 additional hospital beds are expected to come online in the coming weeks.
  • Inspira Medical Center Woodbury is expected to reopen and accommodate an additional 300 beds.
  • Gov. Murphy has announced a FEMA-supported COVID-19 testing site will be opening on Friday at Bergen County Community College. A second site will open at PNC Bank Arts Center in Monmouth County.
  • NJ is expecting the return of nine asymptomatic residents from the Grand Princess Cruise ship.
    • They are being held under CDC quarantine at the Dobbins Air Reserve base in Marietta Georgia.
    • Six low-risk individuals, are expected to return home today and self quarantine for the remainder of their stay (4-5 days).
  • Gov. Murphy is working with the Trump administration and Army Corp. to increase the response to the outbreak in NJ.
  • Gov. Murphy, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, the New Jersey Department of Health, and the United Ways of New Jersey announced today that NJ 211 has been activated to help handle COVID-19 related calls from New Jersey residents.
    • Residents call also text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information and stay informed. To receive live text assistance, residents can text their zip code to 898-211.
  • Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver petitions NJ residents to visit the DCA website to check eligibility and apply for a full menu of services to relieve the burden during the coronavirus crisis.
  • Gov. Murphy, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont today announced Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is joining their coalition to implement a regional approach to combating COVID-19.
  • Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has announced a mandatory curfew in the city beginning at 8 p.m. this evening. The curfew, according to the mayor, is mandatory unless there is an emergency or if residents are going to or coming home from work.
    • Effective 8 p.m. Wednesday, all nonessential businesses in Newark that do not sell food, medical supplies, prescriptions, gas or household good must close and not reopen until further notice.
    • Restaurants are only allowed to be open for takeout or delivery and must close at 8 p.m. every night.
    • Baraka will reassess the citywide mandate on April 1.
  • Sen. Paul Sarlo today urged New Jersey banks to grant a two-month “holiday” on payments for mortgage payments and lines of credit to restaurants and bars that have shut down or are experiencing sharp declines in revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Atlantic County reports first COVID-19 confirmation.
  • Two workers at Inspira Medical Center Vineland tested positive Tuesday for COVID-19.
  • Cape May County Department of Health is reporting that a 30-year-old man from New York City tested positive at a local health care facility for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while visiting Cape May County.
  • Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced authorities have located a woman who tested positive for the new coronavirus and then left East Orange General Hospital.
  • Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announced that he has submitted a revised Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in Bergen County to the Murphy Administration for review to be in conjunction with the Governor’s statewide emergency declaration.
  • Senator Joe Vitale is urging Gov. Murphy to close day care centers in New Jersey, extending the same public health measures that already cover public and private schools and Pre-K programs throughout the state.
  • Sen. Cory Booker urged the Bureau of Prisons to allow phone calls and videoconferencing, free of charge, for all people behind bars, in the wake of the BOP’s prudent decision to temporarily cancel in-person visits in order to help contain the spread of Coronavirus.
  • Sen. Bob Menendez, with nine democratic members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raising serious concerns about Americans struggling to return home after being stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Senate passed the first federal coronavirus relief bill worth $500 billion. The aid package is to tackle the economic impacts of the coronavirus, provide sick leave, unemployment benefits, free coronavirus testing, plus food and medical aid to people impacted by the crisis. The first round of direct payments ($250 billion) to Americans will begin April 6.
  • New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson today outlined steps the Department has taken to assist and protect those we serve amid the ongoing work to contain COVID-19.
    • Waive parent co-pays in state’s child care subsidy for parents who request it due to impacts from COVID-19.
    • Provide an additional $100 per child per month to child care providers for children in the State child care subsidy program to help child care centers remain open during this critical time to support working parents, emergency and essential personnel.
    • Automatically extend, for 60 days, WorkFirst New Jersey cash assistance to individuals whose case is up for renewal in March or April.
    • Extend all Emergency Assistance cases through April 30.
    • Cover 90-day supplies of prescriptions for maintenance medications and early refills of prescriptions in Medicaid and CHIP.
    • Direct hospitals to waive cost sharing for uninsured individuals who are eligible for charity care for medically necessary testing and testing-related services for the COVID-19 virus.
    • Allow older residents receiving prescription drugs through Medicaid or the state prescription drug assistance program (PAAD and Senior Gold) to refill their prescriptions early and receive 90-day supplies of maintenance medications.
    • Temporarily close congregate day programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    • Issue guidance to Opioid Treatment Programs, which provide essential medication such as methadone or buprenorphine to individuals with an opioid use disorder, on ensuring the safe provision of medication including take-home medication.
March 17
  • The state now has a total of 267 cases of COVID-19, with the addition of 89 positive test results. There were no new fatalities to report, the total number of deaths in the state remains at 3.
    • 55% of all known coronavirus cases in the state have led to hospitalization
    • The age range for the total number of cases remains at 5 years to 93 years. The median age is 52.
    • More than half of the total number of cases are male.
  • The City of Trenton announced its first positive COVID-19 test. Mayor Reed Gusciora says that the 48-year-old female has been under self-quarantine since being tested on March 11.
  • Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla instituted a policy of self-isolation for all Hoboken residents effective 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.
    • The policy requires people to stay home except for essential needs, the purchasing of food, care for a family member or friend, to get health care, or employment where remote work is not possible.
    • Activities such as running, jogging, bike-riding, walking, and other similar types of exercise are permitted under the new self-isolation policy, but only if social distancing of at least six feet is observed.
    • All travel on public transportation or by vehicle is restricted for employment purposes only.
    • Restaurants are permitted through delivery and take-out service only, while grocery stores, supermarkets, bodegas, banks, restaurants with food, pharmacies, and coffee shops will remain open until 8 p.m.
    • The Mayor also announced the closure of all non-essential businesses in Hoboken including retail stores, all nail salons, hair salons, massage parlors, and non-essential medical offices.
    • He also urged residents to limit any gatherings of people to five people or less in public places, and encouraged all places of worship to suspend in-person services.
  • Rutgers University announced that it is suspending all in-person instruction, with the exception of clinical instruction, for the remainder of the school year.
    • All events scheduled at the University through the month of May are also suspended, including Rutgers Day and commencements.
  • Murphy directed the indefinite closure of all indoor shopping malls, amusement parks and amusement centers beginning at 8 p.m.
    • Restaurants that are located within indoor shopping malls will be allowed to remain open for delivery or takeout food service only.
  • After hearing the president say that the Army Corps of Engineers was ready to assist New York state in erecting temporary hospitals to help deal with the influx of patients, Murphy made that same request for New Jersey.
  • New Jersey MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton confirmed that the two-month expiration extensions put in place this week for driver licenses, learner permits, and registrations also apply to commercial driver licenses, commercial learner permits, commercial registrations and temporary tags.
  • Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton announced the suspension of all evictions by the County Sheriff’s Office until further notice.
  • Newark Mayor Ras Baraka provided an update on the second person who tested positive for COVID-19 that was under investigation:
    • This person was a female who came to East Orange General Hospital to be tested for coronavirus.
    • The test came back positive but it was discovered after some investigation that the woman had given the hospital a false name and address.
    • The mayor said that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Newark Health Department are currently working to track this woman down and they urge her to return to the hospital where she can be treated.
  • Baraka announced emergency measures that will go into effect in Newark that largely mirrored the conditions set forth in the governor’s statewide order
    • Police, fire, sanitation, health care, WIC, homeless services, water, and lead service line replacement services in the city will continue to function normally.
  • Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announced that the implementation of Executive Order 2020-1B will be postponed until Saturday at 8 a.m. in order to provide additional clarity and to be in conjunction with state government.
    • The revised executive order includes closing shopping malls, limiting park activity to small families, reducing restaurants to take-out and delivery, closing health clubs and gyms, mechanic shops, leaving county government open but not to the public. Banks and law firms can stay open, big box stores can stay open but must adhere to restrictions similar to the county’s Blue Laws regarding purchases
  • The NJSIAA, the governing body for high school sports in the state, announced that there will be no games, scrimmages or practices while the state’s schools are shut down.
    • Any student-athlete who is subject to the 30-day Transfer Rule will be eligible to participate 30 days after what would have been the start of the regular season – March 25 for boys and girls lacrosse and April 1 for all other spring sports.  Participation is day 31 from each of these dates regardless of when the first regular season game is actually played.
    • More information on championship opportunities for spring season sports will be provided later on.
March 16
  • NJ has 178 positive cases of COVID-19, an increase of 80 cases since Sunday.
    • New cases range in age from 5 to 93 years old
  • Late Monday night, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state has its third coronavirus-related death — a male in his 90s who was being treated in Bergen County.
  • The governor has ordered all public, private and parochial pre-K through grade 12 schools, as well as colleges and universities, to close effective Wednesday, March 18 until health officials deem it’s safe for classes to resume.
    • As of Monday, Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet says 90% of the state’s schools are already closed.
  • The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have mandated the following, starting tonight at 8 p.m. and until further notice:
    • No crowds or gatherings of more than 50 people
    • Move theaters, performing arts centers, casinos, racetracks, gyms and fitness centers will be closed
    • Bars and restaurants will be closed and will be limited to delivery or takeout services only
  • All non-essential and non-emergency travel in New Jersey is strongly discouraged between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., beginning this evening and until further notice.
  • All non-essential retail, recreation and entertainment businesses must cease daily operations between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Murphy announces National Guard will be mobilized and moved to “ready posture.”
  • Two drive-thru FEMA testing sites will open in New Jersey — one at Bergen County Community College, the other at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Monmouth County. New Jersey is one of 12 states where the federal government will be offering coronavirus testing.

 

March 15
  • There are 31 new positive COVID-19 test results, bringing the state’s total to 98. The total number of fatalities remains at two.
    • The new cases include 9 females and 22 males
    • The ages range from 30 to 77 years old
  • The governor said that Monday he will be announcing details of a statewide school shutdown, public and private.
    • He also said that he will be announcing more aggressive measures to promote social distancing that could involve a statewide curfew.
  • The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission announced all agencies, road testing, and inspection facilities would be closed for two weeks, effective immediately.
  • Murphy called on the federal government to open a special enrollment period under the ACA. Though New Jersey operates a state-based exchange, it is in the process of transitioning and is still on a federal platform and so it requires the federal government to open this special enrollment period.
  • Asbury Park declares state of emergency.
  • Middlesex County declares a county-wide state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Newark announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the city. Officials said that 21 individuals have been tested. Those tests were sent to the state labs and then to the CDC for confirmation. Two tests came back positive. One individual is a male in his 50s who is currently in isolation. Officials are still working to confirm whether the second individual is in fact a Newark resident.
  • President and CEO of University Hospital Shereef Elnahal announced that one health care worker at the hospital has tested positive for COVID-19. He says it is most likely that the worker acquired the case outside of the hospital. All hospital staff who came in contact with this worker are under self-quarantine. The Bergen County health department is assisting the hospital with this case as that is where the health care worker lives.
  • Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo confirms the county has 11 positive test results: two from Nutley, one from Maplewood, two from Bloomfield, two from Millburn, three from Montclair, one from Newark.
  • Teaneck officials announced an emergency declaration Sunday morning, a day after the township’s mayor asked all residents to self quarantine. Officials stressed that this is not a mandatory quarantine but urged everyone to avoid contact with others and work from home, if possible.

 

March 14
  • Monmouth County woman in her 50s becomes the second person to die from coronavirus-related complications.
  • With 19 new cases, New Jersey has 69 positive cases of coronavirus.
  • The CDC says it will consider all positive tests conducted in public labs to be confirmed rather than presumptive.
  • Hoboken mayor Ravi Bhalla announced that the city will be implementing a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning Monday, March 16. All bars and restaurants were also directed to allow for delivery and takeout of food only.
  • NJ’s corrections commissioner announces a temporary ban on visits to state correctional facilities for the next 30 days.
  • New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission extends expiration dates for driver licenses, registrations, and inspections in response to COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The American Dream mall will temporarily close beginning March 15.

 

March 13
  • 21 new cases announced, bring the number of presumptive positive cases to 50.
  • 354 school districts have closed or are preparing to close beginning March 16.
  • Gov. Phil Murphy says statewide, long-term school closures are inevitable within the next few days.
  • Bergen County executive Jim Tedesco closes movie theaters, performance halls and the county zoo.

 

March 12
  • Six new cases announced, bringing the number of presumptive positive cases to 29, with 37 persons under investigation.
  • Gov. Phil Murphy recommends the cancellation of all events with more than 250 people, including parades, concerts and sporting events.
  • Jersey City becomes first city in NJ to impose a curfew
  • Bergen County, which has the highest number of cases, announces all 75 of its school districts will close.
  • Wall Street experiences worst trading day since 1987 market crash

 

March 11
  • Eight new cases announced, bringing the number of presumptive positive cases to 23.
  • First cases of the coronavirus in New Jersey that are found to have no clear origin, signaling community spread.

 

March 10
March 9

 

March 8

  • Two more presumptive positive cases in New Jersey brings total to six.

 

March 7
  • New York declares state of emergency and public health emergency.

 

March 6

  • Officials announce third and fourth presumptive positive cases

 

March 5
  • Officials announce second presumptive positive case

 

March 4

 

March 1

  • First New York case of the coronavirus

 

Feb. 26
  • Federal and state officials began to lay the groundwork with the public to prepare for the spread of the new pathogen in the United States.

 

Feb. 3

 

Jan. 28
  • 24/7 coronavirus hotline opens: 1-800-222-1222
  • The federal Centers for Disease Control announced that it was beefing up staff at all 20 of its quarantine stations, including the one at Newark, to conduct the screenings in the effort to prevent the spread of the disease.