Murphy Extends NJ’s Public Health Emergency Declaration

At today’s daily COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy said that he is signing an executive order extending the state’s public health emergency declaration by 30 days.

“This action does not mean that we are seeing anything in the data which would pause our path forward, and it should not be interpreted by anyone to mean we are going to be tightening any of the restrictions currently in place,” Murphy said, adding that the extension was made because the state is still in a public health emergency, and the previous extension to the declaration was set to expire.

The Long-Term Care Issue 

Since April 1, 512 individual New Jersey long-term care facilities have been impacted by COVID-19, which has led to 23,345 confirmed positive cases of the virus at such facilities. In the same time period, there have been 4,261 COVID-19 related deaths in long-term care facilities, which is nearly half of the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the state to date (8,549).

As a result, Murphy also today announced the formation of a nationally experienced team of experts on long-term care that will be tasked with: providing immediate support to the Department of Health, conducting a two-to-three week review to protect residents and staff in facilities, and making recommendations on long-term, systemic reform.

The team will be led by Cindy Mann, former deputy administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid under President Obama, and Carol Raphael, former chief executive officer and president of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and former board chair of AARP.

“We know the long-term care issue has been among the biggest challenges both here in New Jersey and nationally,” Murphy said. “This will be an inclusive approach to solve this challenge that will make us a national model.”

All of this comes with the backdrop of the aforementioned 8,549 total COVID-19 deaths in the state, as well as a total of 131,890 confirmed cases of the virus.

“We continue to see the daily counts of new cases leveling, even as more testing sites continue to come online,” Murphy said. “The rate of positivity among those who are tested continues to decrease as well.”

Murphy added that the spread is in fact slowing, but reaffirmed the need to continue social distancing, wearing face coverings, and staying at home unless absolutely necessary.

“We cannot lull ourselves into thinking all is well,” he said.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

Related Articles: