VIRUS UPDATE: MURPHY MAPS ‘ROAD BACK’

phil murphy 042720Governor Phil Murphy at Monday’s crisis briefing. Below, a summary of his “Restart and Recovery” plan. (YouTube screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

Murphy Restart Recovery plan 042720

Governor Phil Murphy outlined a strategy for releasing New Jersey from the five-week-old COVID-19 near lockdown Monday.

Rather than specific dates, he set loose benchmarks for testing, contact tracing and more to prevent a resurgence of disease before he lifts a “stay home” executive order he issued March 21.

“I think it’s a number of weeks, not months,” he said at his daily briefing on the pandemic in response to a question about restrictions on the business and society might begin reopening.

But first, the number of tests needs to be expanded, with quicker results, showing a continued flattening in the number of new positive readings, he said.

In addition, the state needs to roll out an “army” of between 1,300 and 7,000 people to conduct contact tracing of those who test positive to help quell the spread.

Murphy said he would appoint “Restart and Recovery” commission Tuesday. Its task, he said, reading from prepared remarks, will be “to balance multiple competing needs to ensure we arrive at equitable decisions that work for every community in our state.”

The commission will also be asked to help state government and businesses “leverage any and all available federal funds and programs to support our recovery,” he said.

“We have to be thoughtful in how we unfold our economy. This virus is now among us, and our task will be to contain it as best we can. But, with our public-health protocols firmly in place, and with our health-care system prepared, you should not fear heading back to work or elsewhere.”

Murphy also announced the state had received reports of 106 more COVID-19 deaths since Sunday, bringing the total to 6,044.

According to the state health department’s COVID-19 online database, 11 more Monmouth County residents died from the disease, for a total of 302.

Separately, the county government reported 5,798 positive cases Monday. A breakdown by town is below.

Here are the latest statewide COVID-19 figures:

Deaths since March 10: 6,044, up 106 from Sunday

Positive tests: 111,188, up 2,146

Patients in hospitals: 6,407, down 166

Patients in intensive/critical care: 1,801, down 3

Patients on ventilators: 1,303, down 115

Patients discharged in preceding 24 hours: 480, down 204

At the briefing, state health Commissioner Judy said recent data shows a “slight decline” in new COVID-19 hospitalizations in the northern end of the state; a flattening in the central region, which includes Monmouth County; and an uptick in the south.

Persichilli also provided the first insight into where patients have gone after hospitalization. Slightly more than half were sent home, she said; almost a quarter went to nursing facilities; while another 11 percent have died.

Here are municipal case totals:

  • Aberdeen: 180
  • Allenhurst: 2
  • Allentown: 6
  • Asbury Park: 124
  • Atlantic Highlands: 21
  • Avon-by-the-Sea: 10
  • Belmar: 14
  • Bradley Beach: 29
  • Brielle: 23
  • Colts Neck: 57
  • Deal: 23
  • Eatontown: 175
  • Englishtown: 28
  • Fair Haven: 21, up 2 from Sunday
  • Farmingdale: 12
  • Freehold Borough: 269
  • Freehold Township: 527
  • Hazlet: 230
  • Highlands: 22
  • Holmdel: 178
  • Howell: 478
  • Interlaken: 1
  • Keansburg: 105
  • Keyport: 69
  • Lake Como: 14
  • Little Silver: 33, up 3
  • Loch Arbour: 1
  • Long Branch: 349
  • Manalapan: 406
  • Manasquan: 28
  • Marlboro: 372
  • Matawan: 137
  • Middletown: 411
  • Millstone: 67
  • Monmouth Beach: 17
  • Neptune City: 39
  • Neptune Township: 318
  • Ocean: 218
  • Oceanport: 50
  • Red Bank: 132, up 3
  • Roosevelt: 3
  • Rumson: 29
  • Sea Bright: 8
  • Sea Girt: 11
  • Shrewsbury Borough: 40
  • Shrewsbury Township: 8
  • Spring Lake: 11
  • Spring Lake Heights: 17
  • Tinton Falls: 135
  • Union Beach: 37
  • Upper Freehold: 38
  • Wall: 206
  • West Long Branch: 56
  • Unknown: 3