TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Phil Murphy continued urging people of keeping away from others during the COVID-19 outbreak as the state saw further jumps in the number of confirmed cases and the number of coronavirus-related deaths.
New Jersey is now up to 16,636 confirmed COVID-19 cases, up 3,347 since the last reported tally. Coronavirus-related deaths went up to 198 statewide, an increase of 37. Among that number, 288 law enforcement officers have tested positive with 477 out on self-quarantine.
Murphy estimated New Jersey’s peak COVID-19 infections would hit 80,000 cases by mid-May if social distancing restrictions are not obeyed, outstripping the 18,000 hospital beds expected to be available.
“We need to take the necessary steps so you don’t land on any graph,” said Murphy alongside a graphic of the coronavirus “curve” showing when the maximum number of infections would hit the state. “That chart is the nightmare scenario that we are desperately working to avoid.”
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Murphy also announced changes in how certain types of businesses my still operate to customers, more than 10 days after the state ordered non-essential businesses to shut down.
“To ensure social distancing, we will allow auto dealerships to conduct online or remote sales and authorized dealers to deliver vehicles directly to their customers, or to arrange for curbside or service lane pickup at a dealership,” said Murphy.
The governor also said the state would allow realtors to show houses for sale to prospective buyers, “but only on a one on one basis, or to immediate families, but continues the current prohibition on open houses.”
In other businesses, golf courses would be forced to remain closed and firearm retailers may operate by-appointment-only during limited hours for in-person sales.
On a county-by-county basis, Bergen remains the state’s top hotspot:
- Bergen County: 2,482 cases
- Essex County: 1,564 cases
- Hudson County: 1,314 cases
- Union County: 1,213 cases
- Middlesex County: 1,123 cases
- Passaic County: 1,091 cases
- Monmouth County: 1,030 cases
- Ocean County: 874 cases
- Morris County: 720 cases
- Somerset County: 349 cases
- Mercer County: 249 cases
- Camden County: 200 cases
- Burlington County: 178 cases
- Sussex County: 113 cases
- Gloucester County: 89 cases
- Hunterdon County: 79 cases
- Warren County: 68 cases
- Atlantic County: 29 cases
- Cumberland County: 12 cases
- Cape May County: 9 cases
- Salem County: 3 cases
Elsewhere in New Jersey, another testing facility is opening in Bergen County.
The drive-thru site launched Saturday at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus.
It was only open for first responders and health care professionals, but today it begins testing residents by appointment.