TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey continues to seek professionals to join the fight against the spread of coronavirus, and now it will expand its pool of medical staff by offering temporary licenses to physicians who currently hold a foreign medical license.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the initiative during his daily COVID-19 briefing on Friday in which he updated the latest total to now 78,467 confirmed COVID-19 infections in New Jersey, linked to 3,840 deaths.

“New Jersey is the first state to begin fully tapping the tremendous wealth of an international knowledge and experience to help us on our own frontlines,” he said. “This family is now coming together as it has been few times before in our common history, and every member of our New Jersey family has a role to play.”

The New Jersey Attorney General’s office, working through the division of Consumer Affairs, will issue the temporary domestic licenses to anyone with qualifications as a respiratory therapist and for physicians, nurses and emergency medical technicians.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

People able to help are urged to sign up at covid19.nj.gov/forms/volunteer for health care professionals, and covid19.nj.gov/help for other roles.

The need is being driven by a steady spike in numbers around the state as of April 17:

  • 8,011 hospitalized
  • 1,961 requiring critical or ICU care
  • 1,594 ventilators in use
  • 90 patients at field medical stations
  • 787 discharged patients

Most of the active hotspots remain in northern New Jersey:

  • Bergen County: 11,863 positive cases (714 deaths)
  • Essex County: 9,672 positive cases (684 deaths)
  • Hudson County: 9,636 positive cases (420 deaths)
  • Union County: 8,429 positive cases (330 deaths)
  • Passaic County: 7,604 positive cases (221 deaths)
  • Middlesex County: 7,308 positive cases (309 deaths)
  • Ocean County: 4,424 positive cases (201 deaths)
  • Monmouth County: 4,414 positive cases (206 deaths)
  • Morris County: 3,822 positive cases (232 deaths)
  • Somerset County: 2,195 positive cases (135 deaths)
  • Mercer County: 2,123 positive cases (101 deaths)
  • Camden County: 1,807 positive cases (64 deaths)
  • Burlington County: 1,366 positive cases (54 deaths)
  • Gloucester County: 664 positive cases (22 deaths)
  • Sussex County: 591 positive cases (54 deaths)
  • Warren County: 521 positive cases (36 deaths)
  • Hunterdon County: 385 positive cases (16 deaths)
  • Atlantic County: 370 positive cases (17 deaths)
  • Cumberland County: 263 positive cases (3 deaths)
  • Cape May County: 189 positive cases (14 deaths)
  • Salem County: 102 positive cases (4 deaths)

Murphy said more than 22,000 people have already volunteered to serve through such previous calls for help.

“Our most immediate needs are for people who help deliver meals to elderly or otherwise vulnerable rescue residents and to assist us at our food pantries,” said Murphy.

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