What to Know
- The spread of the deadly coronavirus continues in New Jersey as more testing is done. As of Tuesday afternoon, 44 people had died.
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is putting nearly $1 billion in reserve to get ready for a huge drop in tax revenue from the hit to the economy from the novel coronavirus.
- State Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio said in a statement that $900 billion in appropriations are being placed into reserve.
As New Jersey continues to aggressively test people for the new coronavirus, the state continues to see an uptick of the deadly infection.
More than 800 more cases of COVID-19 were reported in New Jersey Tuesday, bringing the total since the start of the outbreak to at least 3,675. Another 17 people died, officials said Tuesday, bringing the death total from COVID-19 to 44.
One of the new deaths was in Camden County, while the others occurred in the central of northern parts of the state, Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Tuesday.
New COVID-19 cases were reported in Burlington, Cape May, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester and Mercer counties. Ocean County saw another jump in cases with 36 more people testing positive.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said the state now has the second most cases of any state in the country, most are in the highly-populated northern parts of the state. New Jersey has put an emphasis on testing for COVID-19.
Murphy said he expects the total number of cases to go into the "many thousands" in the coming days. He urged people to stay at home to help "flatten the curve."
Persichilli said the state needs to continue enforcement of its aggressive actions to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
New Jersey is making sure the state can withstand the economic impact of the closure of nonessential businesses and a statewide state-at-home order.
New Jersey prepared for a huge drop in tax revenue from the hit to the economy from coronavirus, and Murphy is putting nearly $1 billion in reserve to get ready, the state treasurer announced.
Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio said in a statement issued late Monday night that $900 billion in appropriations are being placed into reserve.
“The State expects precipitous declines in revenues in Fiscal Year 2020 and Fiscal Year 2021,” she said.
Murphy confirmed the financial move on Tuesday.
It's unclear exactly what the frozen funds will mean for residents. The list of frozen spending includes money for homestead property tax rebates, as well funds for the Motor Vehicle Commission and aid programs to towns and cities.
The news comes as the state weathers the closure of nonessential businesses amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and with a June 30 budget deadline on the horizon.
Tuesday night, Murphy expanded the list of essential businesses to include mobile phone, repair shops, bike shops, nurseries, livestock feed stores and farming equipment stores.
New Jersey also canceled all statewide student assessments for the spring 2020 testing window. Those assessments include the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA), ACCESS for ELLs, and the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) assessment.
For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.
State health officials have recommended calling your health care provider if you have symptoms, including fever and shortness of breath. Officials also point people to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, which recommends people stay home except to get medical care.
A look at other developments:
New Fund With Celebrity Backing
First lady Tammy Murphy on Tuesday unveiled the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund with a video featuring some of the state's biggest celebrities, including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart and Bon Jovi.
She said in an emailed statement that all the fund's money would go toward fighting medical, social, and economic impact of COVID-19 on the state's most vulnerable. She said administrative costs would be covered by grants.
Jersey Shore Beach Closes
Seaside Heights Mayor Anthony Vaz instructed town officials to close beaches to better adhere to the governor's weekend order for the state's nonessential businesses to close for gatherings to cease.
The mayor also told people with vacation homes in the Ocean County town to stay away, according to NJ.com.
Testing Centers Tested
Monday was the first day a federally operated testing center in Monmouth County opened, joining a similar drive-thru facility in hard-hit Bergen County.
According to the state Health Department, there are also testing centers at Kean University for Union County residents only and Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus for Hudson County residents only.
Other counties are considering opening their own drive-thru testing sites. Camden County said it hoped to open a center soon in South Jersey.