TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey now has 6,876 coronavirus cases, up 2,492 from just yesterday.
There are 19 new fatalities, for a statewide total of 81.
State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said that 43 of 375 longterm care facilities with at least one resident having COVID-19. There were at least 24 coronavirus patients at St. Joseph’s in Woodbridge, which was evacuated. At least 24 residents and five staff members have tested positive from St. Joseph’s, and there have been three deaths among the residents.
“The more you stay home, the slower the spread, and the flatter the curve gets,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “It’s going to take several weeks at least for us to begin seeing a real impact from the social distancing measures that we’ve put in place.”
Murphy also blasted those committing anti-Asian and anti-Semitic crimes during the outbreak.
“A couple of folks who sponsored gatherings in Lakewood, in a community that’s enormous and the fastest growing community in our state, where the overwhelming percentage of folks are doing exactly the right thing including among its leaders. But folks are using a couple of examples like that to extrapolate and start blaming and vilifying communities, in this case our Jewish brothers and sisters,” Murphy said. “We are one family, period. And we will get through this as one family.”
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Testing sites at PNC Bank Arts and Bergen Community College will be accepting symptomatic health care workers and first responders only Saturday.
“The general public will not be able to access these sites this Saturday,” Murphy said, adding that the locations will also launch new schedules as of Sunday, collecting 500 samples from symptomatic people only. Every Saturday going forward, the PNC Bank Arts site will only test symptomatic health care workers and first responders.
Murphy said he was not planning on revisiting the decision to reopen schools until at least April 17.
Murphy said his major disaster declaration has been approved by President Donald Trump, which removes some bureaucratic barriers to assistance.
Murphy said 155,000 New Jersey residents filed for unemployment last week – 16 times the number that filed the week before. Murphy said there was an incredible need for workers, and that the number of job openings in the state had spiked to 35,000. Anyone interested in applying for such a job should click here.
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Murphy said the state has asked 4.5 million N95 masks and 2,500 ventilators “and frankly everything in between: Masks, gowns, gloves, et cetera.”
The Hoboken University Medical Center is less than a week away from completely running out of the supplies that Mayor Ravi Bhalla says are desperately needed to keep staff protected and alive on the frontlines of this pandemic.
“In six days, the hospital’s personal protective equipment — masks, gowns, gloves and more — will be used and gone,” he said Thursday.
Not to mention, the facility is near capacity on ventilators that are helping the most critical COVID-19 patients.
After those six days, Bhalla says, “Physicians are gonna literally have to make life or death decisions … One of our doctors actually said it’s unbelievable and unacceptable to put a physician in that place where they need to make a decision to save one life over another.”
Sadly, the situation at Hoboken University Medical Center isn’t unique.
CBS2 got an exclusive first-hand account of the overwhelming hardship inside Christ Hospital in Jersey City from Dr. Anuj Shah, a cardiologist who is now working in the battle zone that is the hospital’s ICU.
“You get one mask per provider per day. You take it off, you put it in this brown paper bag, and then you reuse it as much as you have to,” Shah said. “We have to make decisions about who gets ventilators, who gets dialysis, who gets care.”
Time to save patients is running out. Even doctors and nurses are dying.
“We all know by this time that we have a colleague who either died or is on the verge of dying,” Shah said.
Medical professionals who promised they were prepared are starting to admit it’s worse than they could have ever imagined.
The fear is this is only the beginning of a months-long marathon-style fight and that the number of deaths will continue to soar if life-saving supplies aren’t fast-tracked to these hard-hit hospitals.