What to Know
- Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey's death toll from the novel coronavirus was at least at 271 Tuesday after 72 new deaths were reported.
- Murphy said during a daily news conference Tuesday that the number of positive cases neared 19,000, with nearly 2,200 new cases reported.
- Among the dead were a 33-year-old firefighter from Passaic and a 30-year-old baseball coach from Cliffside Park.
As hard-hit New Jersey looks to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday announced dozens of new deaths and thousands of new COVID-19 case.
The state had seen at least 18,741 coronavirus cases, with at least 271 deaths. Sixty-nine of the deaths were first reported on Tuesday.
Included in the new deaths announced Tuesday were 30-year-old Cliffside Park baseball coach Ben Luderer and 33-year-old Passaic Firefighter Israel Tolentino, Jr. Because of their ages, Murphy called the young men exceptions to the typical COVID-19 fatalities. Only 14% of the people who have died in New Jersey were under the age of 50.
Fifty-two of the people who died had ties to long-term care facilities.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said 81 of 375 long-term care facilities in New Jersey have reported at least one resident who tested positive for COVID-19. All staff and people entering the facilities and residents showing symptoms must now wear masks as the state looks to slow the spread.
"I cannot be any clearer in my call, 'stay at home before this hits home,'" Murphy said Tuesday.
"We will break the back of this damn virus," Murphy said.
Murphy once again urged citizens to stay at home and meaningfully "flatten the curve" "to save lives."
New Protective Gear
The federal government sent a fourth shipment of personal protective equipment for health workers, Murphy said. The 260,000-piece shipment included gloves and masks.
Murphy has said the state needs ventilators and the protective equipment more than anything else.
More counties are opening testing centers as the state continues its push to learn as much as it can about the spread of the virus. Camden, Middlesex and Ocean counties are opening or have opened new drive-thru COVID-19 testing facilities, Murphy said.
Camden County's testing site will open on Wednesday afternoon in Camden.
Keeping Water Flowing
State officials promised the continuation of clean drinking water to homes during the coronavirus pandemic.
“There will be no water shutoffs during this crisis,” New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe said.
State parks remain open for walks and hikes but restrooms will remain closed, McCabe said.
The state is also starting trout fishing season early to promote solo activity. But, people must release any fish they catch.
NJ, U.S. Law Enforcement Partnering Over COVID-19 Schemes
Tuesday's announcement came a day after New Jersey's U.S. attorney and the state attorney general teamed up to crack down on fraud stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Monday announced a joint state-federal task force to go after people who illegally hoard supplies, gouge prices and conduct other scams.
Murphy has said the state would aggressively pursue any violators.
Law enforcement officials caution residents to be wary of warning signs for scams, including “investment opportunities" tied to COVD-19, as well as offers to sell fake cures, vaccines, and other unproven advice.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.