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NJTV News: May 15, 2020

New Jersey is now just the second state in the country to surpass 10,000 lives lost to the coronavirus. That’s 13 times as many New Jerseyans who died from the September 11 attacks.

The state is reporting another 201 deaths caused by COVID-19, putting the total fatalities at 10,138. Officials announced 1,297 new positive tests as the state’s reaches 143,905 total confirmed cases.

But Gov. Phil Murphy says the outbreak is slowing across the state. Since the peak, new hospitalizations are down nearly 70%; the majority of that change in just the last few weeks alone. Overall hospitalizations, now at 3,823, critical care and ventilator use has also significantly declined.

According to Murphy, that public health data is reason to pull back more of the statewide restrictions. Hospitals can resume elective surgeries and other invasive procedures beginning May 26. The governor also announced the July 7 primary will be a mostly vote-by-mail election, but all towns will be required to have at least one in-person polling location. All party-affiliated voters will be sent a ballot. Unaffiliated and inactive voters will get an application to vote by mail.