PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNew York) — Gov. Phil Murphy announced Sunday that there are 590 new coronavirus cases in New Jersey.
That brings the total number of positive cases statewide to 1,914. In addition, there have been four new deaths, upping the statewide total to 20. The median age of those who have died is 73, though the age range of all those who’ve died is from their 30s-90s.
State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said of the confirmed cases, around 80-85% have been treated at home, 15% have required hospitalizations, and 5% have resulted in critical care.
Murphy urged residents to remain indoors whenever possible.
“All residents are to stay inside if you do not need to be out,” Murphy said. “Everybody: Stay inside. Work from home. Only go out if you have to. Only go out if you’re helping us fight this virus.”
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text 692692 | Westchester Testing Call 1(888)-364-3065 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Case Tracker | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211
Murphy said all the restrictions that’ve been imposed are about “flattening the curve” of cases to help preserve the hospital system.
“No matter how many cases we have, remember flattening the curve not only impacts the number of cases, it impacts the pace of cases,” Murphy said. “It allows our health care system to digest a similar amount of cases in a similar, more coherent fashion.”
New Jersey residents with questions about what businesses are considered essential and are still open are urged to check out the state’s website by CLICKING HERE.
Murphy said industries such as construction are essential. He is asking employers to do everything in their power to enforce social distancing.
“We want no gatherings of any kind. We want people to stay home, period,” Murphy said. “If you’re not essential retail, you’re not open. If you are essential, practice social distancing.”
Persichilli said the state is looking to reopen shuttered medical facilities and is looking at sites for possible field hospitals with the Army Corps of Engineers. She said the state will bring on-line 445 Intensive Care Unit beds in the coming days and another 449 in roughly two weeks. The state also has plans to segment state into three regions — north, central and south — and possibly open two closed hospitals.
Remember: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you're feeling down, or you or a loved one feel unsafe:
💕Crisis Text Line: text “NJ” to 741741
💕Family Helpline: 1-800-843-5437
💕Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-572-7233
💕Mental Health Hotline: 866-202-4357
We will get through this together. pic.twitter.com/UZP6Lei2Vc
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 22, 2020
People struggling with mental health issues amid the pandemic are urged to call 866-202-HELP. Persichilli also urged residents to continue to donate blood if they are in good health and feeling well.
Murphy said he has heard troubling, “repugnant” stories of racism directed against members of the Asian community amid the pandemic. He urged unity and said New Jersey is only going to get through it by pulling together, not by showing divisiveness.
Sunday marked the third day of drive-thru testing at Bergen County Community College, but the site closed after only about 30 minutes because it reached capacity.
Onorio Arotoma of Orange is desperate to know if he’s been infected, but he left empty handed once again.
“I went to the hospital last Sunday. They didn’t want to take care of this. So I called three different hospital by the phone. They didn’t want to take care about this. So you can’t do anything,” Arotoma told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
Arotoma is one of hundreds who drove to the location in vain. Some sat in mile-long traffic for hours. To deal with the overwhelming demand, the state is opening a second drive-thru site Monday in Homdel. Murphy said more tests means cases will surely rise.
- State-By-State, County-By-County Resources
- Myths Vs. Truths
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Talking To Children About Anxiety
- How To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
- CDC Latest Updates
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco said the BCCC site will reopen Monday at 8 a.m. and continue testing residents until it reaches capacity each day. To be screened, residents must have a New Jersey I.D. and be exhibiting symptoms.
“Our testing regime is expanding dramatically,” Murphy said. “The numbers are going up partially because we’re confirming the data and that will allow us… to better and more proactively deal with this awful crisis.”
Murphy said the state is also desperate for more personal protective equipment for health care workers like masks and gowns.
“We’ve had a big ask into the strategic stockpile in the White House,” said Murphy. “They’ve given us a fraction of our ask.”
Sunday was also the first full day of Murphy’s “stay at home” order put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus and flatten the curve of the number of cases.
Most businesses closed Saturday at 9 p.m. and all public gatherings, including weddings, in-person religious services, and parties are to be immediately canceled.
Mike Godleski of Paramus, whose income depends on his family-owned nursery, told Fan he’s worried about what’s to come.
“Of course I’m scared. Everyone is scared. If you’re not, you’re a liar, you know what I mean?” Godleski said.
Murphy noted he is very much aware of the the economic impact the “stay at home” order will have on workers and small businesses. He is asking the federal government for direct cash assistance for the state.
“We think New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut alone, those four states, need $100 billion direct cash assistance to allow us to continue the fight,” he said.
In addition to health care workers, first responders have been directly impacted by the virus. In Jersey City, 42 police officers are out with flu-like symptoms. Two officers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have been hospitalized in serious condition, Fan reported.
“We’ve changed procedures. As I touched on earlier, how many officers are in a car, when they are deployed,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said.