CORONAVIRUS IN NJ: Cases surpass 25,000 as death toll spikes to 537; Murphy authorizes police to commandeer medical supplies

1010 WINS Newsroom
April 02, 2020 - 1:09 pm

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday that the number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey had surpassed 25,000 with over 500 deaths now reported.

    Murphy said 3,489 new cases brought the total to statewide to 25,590.

    The statewide death toll rose to 537, with a massive increase of 182 new deaths reported since Wednesday, Murphy said.

    There were 355 deaths and more than 22,000 cases in the state on Wednesday.

    Earlier in the day, Murphy toured the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, where a 250-bed medical facility is about ready to open.

    Murphy said two more hospitals are being built at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison and at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Together, the three facilities will have a 1,000-bed capacity.

    Murphy also said he was signing an executive order authorizing New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan to commandeer medical supplies and equipment that are necessary for the state's coronavirus response; that includes N95 masks, other personal protective equipment and ventilators.

    Murphy also reported that more than 206,000 new claims of unemployment were filed over the past week and that more than 362,000 residents filed for unemployment in the past two weeks.

    On Wednesday, Murphy said New Jersey’s income tax deadline would move from April 15 to July 15 and the state budget deadline will move from June 30 to Sept. 30 in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused hardships, financial strain and disruptions for many New Jerseyans and New Jersey businesses,” the leaders said.

    The climbing death toll is straining morgues in New Jersey, the governor said, and more space will be needed soon. He said he’s begun discussions about getting more morgue space with federal officials, including the Defense Department.

    The state got 350 new ventilators from the federal government, bringing the statewide total of new equipment to 650, according to the governor.

    The state needs 2,300 ventilators from federal officials, Murphy said.

    Persichilli said with number of ventilators the state is getting, “we believe we’re going to be OK.”

    All hospitals in the state must report the number of ventilators, how many are in use and what type they are, she said. The ventilators will also be moving around state based on need, according to the commissioner.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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