What to Know
- New Jersey on Tuesday reported 365 new deaths from coronavirus-related complications and more than 4,000 new cases of COVID-19. The 365 deaths marked the biggest single-day jump in the state.
- New Jersey has aggressively tested for COVID-19, but Gov. Phil Murphy says more testing is still needed to get his state reopened.
- Social distancing continues to be New Jersey's best weapon at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
New Jersey felt the deadly toll of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday as another 365 deaths from COVID-19 complications were announced, the highest single-day death jump during the pandemic.
Gov. Phil Murphy called for even more COVID-19 testing as he announced the new deaths that bring the state's death toll to 2,805. Murphy has said such peaks stem from the rate of information coming into the state. It doesn't necessarily mean there has been a big overnight jump, he has said.
Among some of the newest deaths were Bedminster Township Police Patrol Sergeant AlTerek Patterson, New Jersey Department of Transpiration's Eddy Germain and notable Puerto Rican community activist and cultural manager Iris Anaida Martínez Arroyo.
With more than 4,00 new cases, there have now been at least 68,824 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in New Jersey.
The Push to Keep Testing for COVID-19
Murphy said that New Jersey is no different from most states in that they wish they had more resources for testing for the novel coronavirus. He said that increased testing is critical to reopening his state.
The state has 66 testing sites "but we need to do more" despite running the fourth most tests of any state, Murphy said Tuesday.
"We need reliable, safe, quick access to testing for everyone and we need it everywhere," Murphy said. "Particularly as we begin war gaming and thinking through that process of how and when and what we need in place.. to begin to responsibly reopen our state."
He noted long lines at some testing sites as people with doctors' notes attempt to find out if they have the novel coronavirus. He suggested the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, which is being operated in partnership with FEMA, could be a better place to get a test as it hasn't reached the maximum 500 tests in recent days. The Holmdel site opens again at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
"No state has the resources they need to test at the scale they need to test," Murphy said.
Murphy said more testing still needs to be done and he called for more federal support. "We need more support for testing."
The New Jersey Policemen's Benevolent Association and Accurate Diagnostics Labs continue to operate drive-thru testing for first responders and health care workers and plan on opening a new site in Hackensack. A site is already up and running in Deptford.
New Jersey has compiled a list of COVID-19 testing sites on its website.
New Laws Amid the Pandemic
Legislation extending the income tax deadline to July 15 and pushing the budget deadline to September will be signed into law, Murphy said.
Another bill would permit people caring for family members with COVID-19 to get 12 weeks of paid family leave during a two-year period without losing their job.
No Mask, No Ride on NJ Transit
Riders on New Jersey Transit are now required to cover their faces as the state works to slow the virus’ spread. Capacity on all transit buses and trains are being curtailed.
The executive order, which went into effect Monday night, requires New Jersey Transit and all private carriers to cut the capacity on all trains, buses, light-rail vehicles and para-transit vehicles to 50% of their maximum, Murphy said. Transit companies must supply workers with gloves and face coverings, he said.
The order also requires face coverings for customers picking up takeout from restaurants and bars, the governor said. Face coverings will not be required for curbside pickup or delivery. Restaurants and bars will be required to provide face coverings for workers.
Murphy has continually urged social distancing as the best tool in slowing COVID-19 and lessening the impact on the state’s hospitals and medical centers. On Tuesday, he showed a map that shows a slowing in cases doubling in the northern part of the state but a quicker doubling in southern counties.
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.