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NJTV News: May 19, 2020

As the state moves deeper into the stages of reopening, more and more residents will have the chance to get tested. New Jersey’s 18,000 licensed pharmacists are now authorized to administer a COVID-19 test without a prescription. By the end of the month, CVS will offer self-swab tests in at least 50 locations across the state. Gov. Phil Murphy says more testing data will help determine when the next phase of reopening begins.

The numbers are still trending downward, but the state reported another 162 fatalities Tuesday. That includes the death of a 22 year-old with no underlying health conditions reported yet. The total death count now stands at 10,586. The latest data shows those that are middle-aged and seniors account for the majority of those deaths. Overnight, 1,055 new positive tests were confirmed bringing the statewide total to 149,013.

The daily positivity rate, most recently recorded on May 15, remains at 12%. It shows how many people had the coronavirus that day instead of over a span of time. It’s a change to the way the state was previously collecting data. That number is pretty consistent across the region and only South Jersey is showing an uptick at around roughly 20%.

The state is also changing the way it records fatalities at long-term care facilities to lab-confirmed cases only instead of a statewide tally. That decreases the death count by 1,400. But according to Murphy, it gives a more accurate picture of the true damage caused by this virus.