COVID-19 ‘Surge’ Has Begun, NJ Health Commissioner Says 

Amid massive public health, societal and economic disruptions wrought by the coronavirus, New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said at today’s state press conference that the predicted “surge” of COVID-19 cases is “beginning to occur” in northern New Jersey and, for example, seven hospitals in that region were on divert status last night.

Both she and Gov. Phil Murphy announced that there have been 3,649 new COVID-19 positive test results in the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s cumulative case total to 22,255. There were also 91 new fatalities since yesterday, for a total of 355 coronavirus-related deaths thus far.

Murphy said he is slated to tour the soon-to-be-open field hospital constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in East Rutherford tomorrow, adding that the site will be used for lower acuity patients who can safely be transported there.

And while New Jersey has so far acquired approximately 10 million pieces of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) on its own, Murphy said, separately, that 350 ventilators are now en route from the Strategic National Stockpile (a cumulative total of 850 various ventilators have been brought into the state).

On the latter point, Murphy said the state “still needs more [ventilators].” Medical personnel are still required as well, and Murphy said individuals with healthcare training should visit 

Adding to a complex mosaic of executive orders, administrative orders and other actions aimed at addressing the virus’ impacts, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 112 today, which authorizes “the Division of Consumer Affairs to temporarily reactivate the licenses of recently retired health care professionals and grant temporary licenses to doctors licensed in foreign countries.

“The executive order also temporarily permits certain health care professionals to perform acts outside of their ordinary scope of practice and grants broad civil immunity to health care professionals and facilities providing services in support of New Jersey’s COVID-19 response efforts who are acting in good faith.”

A complete copy of the executive order may be found here.

Murphy also said today that the state’s tax filing deadline has been moved to July 15, and, in tandem, the state’s fiscal year-end has been moved to September 30.

As reported here, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA’s) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program opens at 9 a.m. this Friday, April 3.

Murphy explained, “This grant program is intended for small businesses that are facing a dire need for direct grant assistance, for survival.”

Complete grant information can be found at either, or the state’s broader COVID-19 portal,

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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