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New Jersey 7-day COVID average highest since outbreak began

Posted at 6:36 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 18:36:30-05

WALLINGTON, N.J. — New Jersey reported another 4,063 new COVID cases today and hospitalizations have now tripled since a month ago.

One in 10 people tested are now coming back positive, a rate that Gov. Phil Murphy called unacceptably high.

"There is no way to sugarcoat any of these numbers," said the governor. "They are not good and they are trending worse."

The governor said if things do get worse, more shut downs could be on the table.

As HPAE nurses union in New Jersey — called the uptrend in cases today — terrifying.

The union wants the state to roll out a plan for healthcare worker, after filing OSHA complaints against hospitals who are telling workers exposed to COVID-19 to report to work anyway as long as they’re not showing symptoms.

"It feels as if we are on a railroad track watching a speeding train hurtling toward us, knowing it will eventually hit us," said HPAE President Debbie White, RN. "What is quickly becoming clear to us is that this surge will be much worse because we have a finite number of available staff and the rest of the country is surging at the same time."

Some intensive care units at Hackensack Meridian Health facilities are already reporting clusters of infected nurses.

While Virtua Health, which staffs surgical centers and hospitals across New Jersey, was just reported to the state by HPAE for allegedly telling exposed workers to report to work.

In response Virtua Health executive vice president and chief clinical officer Dr. Reg Blaber said anyone who tests positive should quarantine.

“These policies have been carefully reviewed by our medical director," said Dr. Blaber, "and are aligned with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The state said they were just made aware of this complaint against Virtua and they will look into it.