At today’s COVID-19 press briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy emphasized the importance of accurate and encompassing data collection in order to continue to track New Jersey’s progress as it continues its recovery from COVID-19.
“More data means we get a better sense of where COVID-19 still exists, and where hot spots could become flare ups, so we can take quick corrective measures to stamp them out. That data comes first and foremost from a rigorous testing program,” Murphy said. “The more people that get tested, the stronger our data becomes.”
Now roughly one month into its “recovery,” Murphy revealed that New Jersey has met its initial benchmark of conducting 20,000 tests per day by the end of May.
He also highlighted the progress that has been made on the testing front as a whole, pointing out that in mid-March, the state was only running “a few hundred tests per day.”
“By the end of last week, we had already far exceeded our 20,000 per day goal,” Murphy said, pointing to a graph which showed that on May 23, the number of tests conducted per day reached 30,000. While the per-day number did dip back down toward 20,000 in the following days, Murphy said the decrease is likely due to Memorial Day weekend.
There are now 164 public and private sites conducting tests in the state.
“If you need to be tested, go out and get one,” Murphy said. “Every resident in every community has a role to play in our restart and recovery, and every resident that gets tested sends a strong message to their neighbors that they are ready to be a part of a bright future for our state.”
$2.3 Million for 700 Small Businesses
In other news, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority today approved $2.3 million in federal grants which will be split among more than 700 small businesses.
The funds come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, and are part of a $50-million small business program the EDA board approved last week.
While earlier rounds of EDA funding were exhausted quickly, EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said that, in addition to the $2.3 million in grants approved today, another $2.7 million will go out to businesses in the coming weeks.
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