New Jersey now has more than 100,000 cases of the new coronavirus, making the Garden State the second state in the country to hit that number since the pandemic began.
On Friday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in New Jersey jumped to 102,196 with more than 3,000 new cases. And 5,617 people have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
Gov. Phil Murphy has continually urged people to stay at home and remain socially distant from one another when they must go out for essentials.
Murphy also says the state would need to ramp up testing beyond just symptomatic people before reopening its economy. As of Friday, more than 90 sites in the state offered COVID-19 testing.
The gravity of the crisis is seen in its victims, including Pedro Gonzalez, a northern New Jersey man. He is home and recovering after spending the better part of a month fighting for his life at a hospital.
He woke up on Easter morning.
“It was a nightmare not really knowing what was going to happen,” his wife, Victoria, said Friday. “There are no words to explain what we went through.”
Hospital staff stayed positive and never gave up hope, Victoria Gonzalez said. “Without that, I don’t know what would have happened."
Rutgers Freezes Tuition
Several other coronavirus-related developments came out of New Jersey Friday, including Rutgers University's announcement that it would slash executives’ salaries and freeze tuition for undergraduates because of financial strain brought on by the pandemic.
Rutgers President Robert Barchi said Friday in a statement that he, along with chancellors, executive vice presidents and coaches for football and men’s and women’s basketball will take a 10% pay cut for the next four months.
“The steps we are taking today will help us address the immediate impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, but they are only the beginning of what we must consider. Equally substantial steps will be needed as we craft a budget for the coming year,” Barchi wrote.
Vehicle Inspection Stations Close
Meanwhile, New Jersey's motor vehicle inspection stations will be closed until May 11 as part of statewide efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
While inspection and road testing facilities will close, essential operations will continue, the Motor Vehicle Commission said in a statement. Those include supporting commercial trucking to keep the supply chain operating, the commission said.
Other services like renewing driver's licenses and registrations can be done online at NJMVC.gov.
The commission initially closed inspection stations from March 16 until March 30, followed by extensions that were set to expire on Monday.
Expiration dates for driver licenses, registrations, inspection stickers and temporary tags had been extended to May 13.