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New Jersey nears 30,000 COVID-19 cases in one week; state could soon face new restrictions

Posted at 7:06 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 19:06:14-05

NEW JERSEY — New Jersey reported another 4,320 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, nearing a total of 30,000 in just the last week, as communities around the state jumped into action to respond and Governor Phil Murphy warned the state would likely face new restrictions next week.

Bergen County is leading the state with the most daily new cases. There were 459 reported Thursday.

The county will expand testing at Bergen Technical High School through the winter.

Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco said the shutdowns - like back in March and April - is what works to bend the curve.

"That saved thousands from being sick," said Tedesco. "I believe taking those actions again will help stop the spread of the virus."

While in Jersey City, Mayor Steven Fulop criticized a statewide restriction to shut down all bars and restaurants at 10 p.m.

Jersey City's top law officer said they’ll take a gentler approach to enforcement through the holiday

"We will continue to go with an educational policy," said Jersey City Public Safety Director James Shea.

Jersey City also expanded testing Thursday- going mobile to test in local hotspots.

"More than doubling the number of locations people can get tested and providing free masks to everyone in the city who wants it," said Mayor Fulop.

New Jersey nurses reported clusters in critical care units and risky orders from superiors as pressure mounts to keep the hospitals fully staffed. The nurses union, HPAE, now has two complaints against hospitals pending with the state.

"Nurses and healthcare workers who have been exposed are being told to work if they are asymptomatic," said Debbie White, president of the HPAE.

The Murphy administration is investigating their claims.

Murphy didn't announce any further restrictions on Thursday. Despite the shut down of New York City schools, Murphy said New Jersey classrooms will remain open.

"School transmission is better than I ever would have guessed," Murphy said.

This weekend, New Jersey businesses are planning a march in Morristown to urge Murphy to let the public take personal responsibility for themselves rather than implementing more restrictions.