At today’s COVID-19 press briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that he signed legislation which requires hospitals to report demographic data to the Department of Health (DOH). The governor said that the state’s online COVID-19 Information Hub has been updated with preliminary racial data that has already been collected. As more data comes in, it will be publicly reported daily by DOH.
The legislation (S2357) requires hospitals to report demographic data including age, ethnicity, gender and race of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, who have died from COVID-19, and who have tried to get testing but have been turned away.
“Understanding the impact of COVID-19 by demographic group is critical to ensure equity in our response to this virus,” Murphy said. “We must do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable groups in our state. This data will inform our efforts and allow us to make sure that no one is left behind.”
Additionally, Murphy said that New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut are working on a contact tracing program that includes necessary “human” and “technological” components.
The discussions are in their “very early stages,” according to Murphy, who added that robust contact tracing, in addition to a testing protocol, is vital to any serious reopening efforts.
There are a total of 86 testing sites across New Jersey, as the state is now the fourth most tested state in the US behind only New York, California and Florida.
“We started as a nation with both arms tied behind our backs, with a fraction of the resources that we needed,” Murphy said.
Those who are looking to get tested are urged to visit covid19.nj.gov/testing.
COVID-19 Impact Update
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