CORONAVIRUS IN NJ: Schools to stay closed for remainder of academic year; 45 new deaths, 1,621 new cases

Maya Rajamani
May 04, 2020 - 12:09 pm

    TRENTON, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday reported 1,621 new COVID-19 cases and 45 new deaths — after announcing that schools in the state would remain closed for the rest of the academic year. 

    "ALL SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN CLOSED for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year — to protect the health of our children, our educators and their families," he tweeted.

    During his daily briefing, Murphy said the decision to keep schools closed was not an easy one. 

    “I had hoped that we could get back to a sense of normal by allowing our children to return to the schools they love, and to be with their friends and classmates,” he said. “But the reality is that we cannot safely reopen our schools to provide students and families or faculty and staff the confidence needed to provide for a return to in-person instruction.”

    Monday's new COVID-19 cases and deaths brought the total number of cases in the state to 128,269 and the death toll to 7,910. The new numbers "may be low as a result of a network outage yesterday that may have prevented all cases from being processed,” Murphy said. 

    Hospitalizations in the state have dropped by 1,000 in the past five days, and the number of patients in either critical or intensive care has decreased every day for the past six days, he said. 

    As of 10 p.m. on Sunday, 5,287 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, 1,610 of whom were in critical or intensive care units. Three hundred and sixty-two people were hospitalized on Sunday, but 335 people were discharged from hospitals that day, he added. 

    Ventilator use, meanwhile, is “the lowest it’s been in over a month,” with 1,189 COVID-19 patients across the state on ventilators, he noted. 

    “Across every region of the state, we continue to see the overall stresses lessening our healthcare system,” he said.

    Murphy on Monday also signed an executive order meant to address the state’s burgeoning financial crisis. The order reversed a previous executive order directing the state’s Department of Treasury to reach a $1.276 billion surplus by the end of the current fiscal year. 

    “Absent significant outside assistance, this surplus is no longer feasible,” Murphy said. “We need to have these funds as a safeguard should direct federal assistance to our state fail to surface.”