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May 13, 2020

‘Total Hospitalizations are Down Nearly Half Since the Peak’ Gov. Murphy Says

Photo Credit: Thomas P. Costello

Gov. Murphy’s COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday was led with promise as he expressed the positive trend lines needed to “break the back of the virus.”

“Because of your incredible work over the past two months, you have moved the trend lines in the right direction,” he told residents. “You have saved lives.”

New hospitalizations are down 70 percent, total hospitalizations are down nearly half since the peak, and the number of new cases is down 60 percent, according to New Jersey statistics,

“The progress is undeniable,” Murphy said. “This does not happen without the efforts of everybody in this state doing an extraordinary job.”

However, Murphy was quick to remind the public that “we must remember we are not out of the woods yet.” There are still thousands in hospitalized and an untold number more will perish, he said.

Two weeks ago, the first major step toward recovery since the statewide shutdown allowed people to return to state parks and forests. Murphy was pleased with people abiding by social distancing requirements, despite some bathroom mishaps.

Gov. Murphy expressed the need to give business owners confidence that the state is moving forward purposely, while emphasizing that data will ultimately determine dates.

“Our next goal is to provide at least 20,000 tests a day by the end of this month and to continue building out that capacity as we move forward,” Murphy said.

Murphy anticipated that number to reach 25,000 tests per day by the end of June.

The administration expects to recruit and train at least 1,000 people and possibly as many as 5,000 to investigate the contacts of patients who have recently tested positive for the coronavirus. Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli expressed that the goal is that “90 percent of all new positive cases are contacted within 24 hours.”

Murphy stated at Tuesday’s briefing that he will be signing an executive order that requires each county and local health offices to adopt a new information technology platform called DiMagi’s CommCare system. This is meant to help improve coordination across contact tracing efforts throughout the state and Greater New York City region.

As of Tuesday, more than 140,700 people had tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, and 9,508 had died in New Jersey.

Murphy said, “There isn’t going to be one magic day when everything is open. We’re going to take a series of incremental steps.”