BREAKING UPDATE (Thursday, April 9, 2020 1:05 p.m.): An additional 198 people died from complications of COVID-19, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Thursday. The death toll has reached 1,700 in the Garden State – more than two-times the number of people the state lost in the Sept. 11th Attacks, Murphy said. Confirmed infections jumped by an additional 3,748 cases to a total of 51,027.
At Thursday's briefing, Murphy honored Steve Ravitz, the South Jersey grocer who died from complications of COVID-19.
The governor also announced a new executive order requiring that insurers provide grace periods for people who are unable to pay their premiums because of a coronavirus-related job loss. Health and dental insurance will have a 60 day grace period and homeowners, renters, auto and life insurance will have a 90 day grace period, according to Murphy. He added that insurers are barred from asking for back-payments in a lump sum.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
New Jersey's jobless claims jumped 32% last week to 206,000, breaking a record set the week before, the state Labor Department said Thursday.
The spike in claims reflects the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the state's economy, according to the Labor Department.
The hardest-hit workers were from the food service industry, followed by those at doctors' and dentists' offices, the department said. Administrative workers were also hit hard.
A $600 supplemental unemployment benefit for workers that stems from the federal relief bill is set to begin for laid-off workers next week. It will be issued separately from regular jobless payments.
New Jersey is among the hardest-hit states by COVID-19, with more than 47,000 positive cases and over 1,500 deaths.
For most people, the new 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.