New Jersey’s cases of the novel coronavirus jumped drastically again on Monday as thousands in the Garden State deal with the ongoing spread.
The state announced another 935 COVID-19 cases, bringing the state total to at least 2,844. Seven more people have died, bringing that total to at least 27.
The Garden State has reported thousands of new cases of the novel coronavirus in a matter of days. Gov. Phil Murphy at a Monday news conference said the jump in positive cases isn't "surprising," as the state "aggressively" focuses on testing people with symptoms, like high fever and shortness of breath.
Of the seven new deaths announced on Monday, Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the cases included five men and two women from North Jersey from ages 57 to 91.
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The 935 new cases of sickness announced Monday were from Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties. There were also dozens of new cases in hard-hit Ocean County. Bergen County, where a drive-thru testing center was set up last week, had more than 100 new cases.
State health officials have recommended that individuals with symptoms contact their health care providers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals with symptoms stay home and self-quarantine, save for those in need of urgent medical care.
Health officials have issued an urgent call for blood donations and said steps were being taken to increase hospital capacity.
To help the medical response stay focused on the novel coronavirus, Murphy called on the New Jersey Hospital Association to team up with Ready NJ to centralize personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies. He also signed an executive order suspending elective surgeries as of Friday at 5 p.m.
Murphy said he spoke with President Donald Trump on Monday and asked for more medical equipment and financial support for the Garden State.
Recognizing the economic impact of the closures, New Jersey has launched sites for those looking for work to connect them with businesses that are hiring.
Murphy on Saturday ordered residents to stay home, banned all gatherings and told nonessential retail businesses to close in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. He has expressed anger over people ignoring the order.
Murphy is likewise upset with those who are taking advantage of others during the outbreak, engaging in price gouging, bullying or racist attacks.
“There is a special place in Hell for the people who take advantage of this health crisis," he said.
The state is also looking to curb the spread of COVID-19 in county jails. New Jersey's Supreme Court on Monday ordered that some county jail inmates be released.
For most people, coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with pre-existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.
"We're all in this together," Murphy said, while urging social distancing and hand washing.