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Latest coronavirus updates in New Jersey: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Posted: 5:22 AM, Mar 24, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-24 19:43:51-04
Virus Outbreak New Jersey

NEW JERSEY — Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New Jersey. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page.

2:12 p.m.
Gov. Phil Murphy discussed his administration’s efforts to combat COVID-19 as the state ramps up testing availability.

  • The governor applied for a federal waiver to cancel student standardized testing for April.
  • There are 846 new positives, bringing the total to 3,675 cases.
  • Seventeen additional people have died from coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 44. This is the largest single-day death report since the outbreak began.
  • New Jersey now has the second largest case count in the country, after New York. Murphy stressed this is because of aggressive testing.
  • About 35% of patients are between the ages of 30 and 49, and 24% of those individuals have been hospitalized.
  • "We do not know when numbers will plateau and decrease," Murphy said.
  • So far, there have been nine deaths associated with long-term care facilities.
  • The health commissioner said they are particularly concerned about St. Joe's in Woodbridge, where several residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and some employees are home with flu-like symptoms. The commissioner said they are working with the center's leadership to move residents to another facility.
  • There is still no word on how long students will continue with remote learning, but Murphy said schools would remain closed "until further notice."
  • More than $900 million in the discretionary budget spending has been put into reserve, and Murphy remains hopeful that a cash infusion from the federal stimulus package being considered by Congress is coming. "I cannot stress this enough that New Jersey and our residents need the assistance," Murphy said.
  • The following locations will be converted into FEMA hospitals: Meadowlands Expo Center, Edison Convention Center, Atlantic City Convention Center, and Urban Search & Rescue Facility.
  • The federal government is sending over 200,000 N95 masks and other personal protective equipment.
  • Murphy also lauded private companies, including Apple, PSEG and Walgreens, for coming forward with PPE donations, saying such actions redefines the phrase "it takes a village."
  • Anyone who has medical equipment to donate, can email PPEDonations@NJSP.org.
  • All municipal water utilities should move to suspend all water shut-offs, Murphy said, as private utilities already have done. "If you do not voluntarily suspend I will order you," Murphy warned.
  • The new jobs portal connecting laid off workers with positions fighting coronavirus has received an overwhelming response. The page was visited by more than 88,000 jobseekers in its first 24 hours. The number of available jobs is increasing to 12,000 from more than 100 employers.
  • Charges are being brought against a man who coughed on a Wegman's employee and told her after doing so that he had coronavirus, Murphy said. The suspect refused to cooperate with police for 40 minutes. He is facing charges of making terroristic threats, harassment, obstruction.

Watch the news conference below:

8:45 a.m.
A fifth drive-thru testing site will open Wednesday for Passaic County residents at William Paterson University in Wayne. The entrance is on the Hamburg Turnpike and University Boulevard.

The site will be open daily from 9 a.m. to noon, or until it hits capacity. The facility is only open to Passaic County residents with a prescription.

7:30 a.m.
The drive-thru testing site at Bergen Community College in Paramus has already reached its daily capacity, 30 minutes before officially opening. If you are currently waiting in line and have not been instructed to leave, remain in line, Paramus Police tweeted.

5:20 a.m.
New Jersey's latest drive-thru COVID-19 testing site opens Tuesday at the Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus, but it's only for Hudson County residents and first responders, and you must have an appointment to be tested. Read more here.

5 a.m.
New Jersey's stay-at-home order is now enforced. Gov. Phil Murphy's order forced the closure of all non-essential businesses across the state. For a full list of businesses that will remain open during the order, click here.

Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks
Tips to protect yourself and others amid coronavirus outbreaks

Call New Jersey's coronavirus hotline at 1-800-222-1222. You can also click here for additional information.