New Jersey

NJ Joins Other States in Urging Colleges to Test Students for COVID-19

Thousands of new coronavirus cases are being reported daily across New Jersey in recent days

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

With a second wave of coronavirus surging across New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy and state health officials are urging colleges and universities to test students before Thanksgiving break.

The first-term Democrat opened his remarks Wednesday afternoon saying that New Jersey was joining other Northeast states -- including Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York -- in urging colleges and universities to make testing available to all students on campus before they head home for Thanksgiving.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that even students who test negative should quarantine for 14 days, avoid family members over 60 years old and wear masks in their home until the quarantine period is over if they do return home.

"These steps will keep your family safe," she said.

Pennsylvania announced its similar college testing plan on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Murphy reiterated the New Jersey's new indoor gathering limit of 10 people that is aimed at discouraging large gatherings for Thanksgiving and the holidays. He channeled a Mississippi doctor in why it's important to not mingle among non-household groups.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy quoted a Mississippi doctor while warning people against gathering with elderly loved ones around the Thanksgiving table this year.

With 4,063 new cases reported Wednesday, New Jersey had reported nearly 290,000 CVOID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Tens of thousands of those cases have come in the past few weeks as cases have surged.

With 27 new deaths reported Wednesday, at least 14,843 people have died from coronavirus-related complications. Dozens of those deaths have been reported in the the past week.

More than 2,400 people were hospitalized in New Jersey with 461 people in the intensive care units and 223 on ventilators. The rate of positivity reported Wednesday was 10.88% (as of Nov. 14) and the rate of transmission had ticked up to 1.42. The positivity rate is above 12% in the southern part of New Jersey.

"These is no way to sugar coat any of these numbers," Murphy said. "We must reverse these numbers."

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