VIRUS UPDATE: NEW JERSEY DEATHS HIT 537

red bank navesink boat 040220A socially-distanced boat heads out onto our beautiful Navesink River off Red Bank Thursday. (Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

New Jersey added 182 more deaths to the COVID-19 toll as the number of state residents known to be infected blew past 25,000, Governor Phil Murphy said Thursday.

The death toll doubled the 91 attributed to the coronavirus pandemic a day earlier, and pushed the total to 537, Murphy said at his daily briefing on the crisis.

That included 14 more Monmouth County residents who have died in the pandemic, for a total of 38, according to the state Health Department website.

More deaths and illnesses are certain, Murphy said, telling viewers, “we are not even at the end of the beginning” of the crisis.

The latest mortality report includes an unspecified number that may have occurred prior to Wednesday but we reported to state officials in the preceding 24 hours, said state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

Nearly 3,500 more state residents were added to the roster of those testing positive for the virus, pushing the total to 25,590, she said. A town-by-town breakdown was not immediately available.

[UPDATE: Thursday evening, the Monmouth County Freeholders reported 1,482 positive cases in the county. They included 13 in Fair Haven and 17 in Little Silver, both unchanged from Wednesday; and 29 Red Bank, up two.]

Another 33,520 individuals presenting apparent symptoms of the illness have tested negative, the health department reported. At a positive rate of 41.1 percent, “that means six out of ten tested tested negative,” Murphy said.

Still, with “pressure on our hospital system building,” Persichilli outlined efforts to open ad hoc field hospitals to treat symptomatic patients while steering those with full-blown coronavirus to acute-care hospitals. The first will be located in Secaucus and open next week, she said.

Related:

• Asked if the administration was recommending wider usage of masks by the general public, Persichilli said it is not.

“I wouldn’t tell anyone not to” wear one, she said. “But I don’t think that we would put out a recommendation that everyone mask.”

“The biggest issue is social distancing,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan.

• Contrary to the experience of other states, where the New York Times reported that some ventilators supplied by the federal government don’t work, State Police Superintendent Colonel Pat Callahan said he had not heard of any being inoperable in New Jersey.

• Six “knuckleheads” have been charged with spitting or coughing on police officers while claiming to be infected, Murphy said.

• COVID-19-positive case totals in nearby towns: Middletown, 137, up 10 from Wednesday; and Rumson, 17;  Shrewsbury, 14; and Tinton Falls, 24, all unchanged.

Here’s the full list of Monmouth towns with at least one case:

  • Aberdeen: 43
  • Allentown: 1
  • Asbury Park: 24
  • Atlantic Highlands: 8
  • Avon-by-the-Sea: 3
  • Belmar: 4
  • Bradley Beach: 7
  • Brielle: 10
  • Colts Neck: 23
  • Deal: 7
  • Eatontown: 47
  • Englishtown: 7
  • Fair Haven: 13
  • Farmingdale: 6
  • Freehold Borough: 15
  • Freehold Township: 111
  • Hazlet: 59
  • Highlands: 6
  • Holmdel: 55
  • Howell: 116
  • Keansburg: 30
  • Keyport: 10
  • Lake Como: 4
  • Little Silver: 17
  • Loch Arbour: 1
  • Long Branch: 55
  • Manalapan: 130
  • Manasquan: 14
  • Marlboro: 110
  • Matawan: 33
  • Middletown: 137
  • Millstone: 14
  • Monmouth Beach: 5
  • Neptune City: 9
  • Neptune Township: 66
  • Ocean: 54
  • Oceanport: 18
  • Red Bank: 29
  • Rumson: 19
  • Sea Bright: 2
  • Sea Girt: 5
  • Shrewsbury Borough: 16
  • Shrewsbury Township: 3
  • Spring Lake: 5
  • Spring Lake Heights: 7
  • Tinton Falls: 27
  • Union Beach: 1
  • Upper Freehold: 15
  • Wall: 55
  • West Long Branch: 19