New Jersey will receive 300 ventilators from the national stockpile, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday, calling it “welcome news” but “far from what we ultimately will need.”

The state is seeking 2,300 of the life-saving breathing machines as a rapid uptick in COVID-19 cases pushes its hospitals to the limit.

Officials said last week they expect a “surge” of patients in mid-April.

On Monday, officials announced 3,347 new cases and 37 new deaths from the virus. That brings the statewide totals to 16,636 cases and 198 deaths.

Jodi Peterso-Stigers
Interfaith Sanctuary

While jazz singer, songwriter and saxophonist Curtis Stigers' touring schedule is on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, his wife Jodi Peterson-Stigers continues to go to work in Boise, Idaho.

Jodi is the Executive Director of Interfaith Sanctuary.   The shelter serves people of all genders, races, religions, and sexual orientation, as well as families with children, by providing a safe overnight emergency bed and practical services to transition out of homelessness.

The USNS Comfort sailed into New York Harbor today as the city prepares to increase hospital capacity amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

The United States naval ship, now docked at Pier 90 on the West Side of Manhattan, will provide one thousand beds for non-COVID-19 patients. Mayor Bill de Blasio says it will help open up space in the city’s hospitals for the expected onslaught of critical patients who are in need of intensive care.

More than 66,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in New York State as of Monday, with the majority of them in New York City. More than 1,200 people have died from the virus in the state.

Governor Cuomo is once again lashing out at New York City residents congregating in parks and playgrounds: “New York City is trying to reduce the density in those playgrounds. Thus far they have not been successful. If that continues, we’ll take a mandatory action to close down playgrounds.”

Coronavirus Cases Escalate in New York and New Jersey

Mar 30, 2020
Governor Murphy

The positive cases and deaths of coronavirus continue to climb. New York State leads the way with nearly 60,000 cases and New Jersey is second in the nation with more than 11,000 cases as of Sunday.

There are more than 1,000 virus related deaths between the two states. Stats show the hospitalization rate for coronavirus patients is doubling every six days now in New York State. It’s decreasing because it wasn’t too long ago it was every 2 days.

N.J. Death Toll Tops 100 As Coronavirus Stretches Hospitals Increasingly Thin

Mar 27, 2020

Twenty-seven more New Jerseyans have lost their lives to complications from the coronavirus, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday, bringing the statewide death toll to 108.

“These aren’t abstract numbers,” Murphy said at his daily news briefing. “These are our neighbors, our family, our friends. All of us — we are in this together, and we mourn together.”

Murphy also announced that confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to climb unabated. The 1,982 new cases announced Friday means New Jersey has now seen 8,825 cases total, which is second-highest in the nation after New York.

Governor Cuomo: Coronavirus Cases Peaking in 3 Weeks

Mar 27, 2020
Governor Cuomo
American Red Cross

There are now more than 44-thousand people who have tested positive for coronavirus in New York State as of Friday. The death toll has passed the 500 mark.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the latest projection has coronavirus cases peaking in three weeks.

“The rate of the increase is slowing but the number of cases are still going up.”

All New York state schools had been shut since mid March and now the governor is extending that until at least April 15th.

“and you look at the number of cases still increasing, it only makes sense to keep the schools closed.”

Brandee Younger

With people being filled with anxiety, stress, depression and isolation, jazz musicians have been doing their part to try and bring "live" music to them via digital content and live streaming.

Nate Chinen, WBGO's Director of Editorial Content, chats with News Director Doug Doyle about why music is so important during difficult times and how WBGO is also responding to the demand for digital content through the Livestream Hub from WBGO.

Alice Stockton-Rosssini

As veteran New York City radio reporter Alice Stockton-Rossini is dealing with her parents testing positive for the coronavirus, she says people should be demanding that everyone be tested.

Stockton-Rossini's mother was the first in the family to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.  While Alice has not been tested, she has experienced nearly all of the symptoms.

Stockton-Rossini spoke to WBGO's News Director Doug Doyle and talked about how the coronavirus has impacted nearly her entire family in Ocean County.

Alexandra Hill / News

In the first of what Mayor Ras Baraka calls a series of sweeping six million dollar economic initiatives, the city of Newark has launched a grant program to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The city has earmarked two million of those dollars to help hundreds of small business by providing up to ten thousand dollars each in emergency grant money. Mayor Ras Baraka says many of those businesses have been nearly crushed by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Coronavirus update: N.J. unemployment claims soar 2,000%

Mar 26, 2020

More than 150,000 New Jerseyans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a staggering 2,000% increase over the same week last year, the state Department of Labor said Thursday.

The numbers on a national level are equally sobering: a record 3.3 million Americans filed for the benefits in a single week — nearly five times the initial claims recorded during the peak of the Great Recession in 2009, according to newly released federal data.


More than 37 thousand people have tested positive for coronavirus in New York State as of Thursday. That’s an increase of more than six thousand from Wednesday.

New York City has more than 21-thousand cases. Governor Cuomo says the state is focusing on finding extra hospital space in New York City, Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley.

“Our goal is to have a one-thousand plus overflow facility in each of the boroughs downstate and the counties.”

Coronavirus Update: N.J. Gov Slams Idea of Sacrificing Lives For the Economy

Mar 25, 2020

Without naming names, Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday blasted people like the lieutenant governor of Texas who have suggested that reviving the economy is worth the possible tradeoff in human life.

“We completely and utterly reject some pockets — I might add, happily, small pockets — that are suggesting around the country … that certain persons are expendable,” the Democrat said at his daily briefing. “The fact of the matter is everyone is indispensable.”

Governor Cuomo: Social Distancing is Helping Hospitals

Mar 25, 2020

The number of known coronavirus cases in New York State now tops 30-thousand as of Wednesday, with the majority of them in New York City.

However, Governor Cuomo says while the numbers statewide continue to go up, he thinks social distancing measures have made it easier on hospitals.

“No non-essential workers. Yes, they are burdensome. By the way, they are effective and necessary and the evidence suggests at this point they have slowed the hospitalizations.”

Rich Uniacke

The non-profit organization Bridges was founded in 1988 with its mission to end homelessness through volunteer-driven outreach and individual case management focusing on health, housing and independence.

Bridges Executive Director Rich Uniacke spoke with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about how the organization is handling the coronavirus pandemic and the need for donations.

Ask Governor Murphy

The March (24) edition of Ask Governor Murphy on WBGO was an opportunity for concerned residents to reach out to Governor Phil Murphy and hear how the state is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Governor took calls and social media questions from all over state.  Governor Murphy joined the show from his home and announced the death toll in New Jersey is up to 44 with more than 36-hundred coronavirus cases in the state.

City of Newark NJ

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is urging residents to remain at home as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise. Among them some of the city’s first responders. 

In addition to the city’s nearly eighty cases so far three police officers and six firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19. Baraka says those who continue to disregard the city’s mandated 8pm curfew, as well as social distancing practices, are putting others at risk, particularly first responders.

The 846 new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday in New Jersey bring the state total to 3,675, higher than any other state in the country except New York.

Gov. Phil Murphy also announced 17 more deaths from the virus. The state death toll is now 44.

“We join their families in mourning these extraordinary lives,” Murphy said Tuesday. “And if anyone is looking to me for a reason to justify the steps that I and we have ordered, I can now give you 44 of those reasons.”

Governor Cuomo
New York Governor's Office

There are more than 25-thousand known coronavirus cases in New York State and more than two-hundred related deaths as of Tuesday. New York City has the bulk of the cases with nearly 15-thousand.

Despite all the closures and restrictions, Governor Cuomo says the number of coronavirus cases is doubling every three days.

“One of the forecasters said to me we were looking at a freight train coming across the country. We are now looking at bullet train because the numbers are going up that quickly.”

Margie Warrell
Margie Warrell

Best-selling author Margie Warrell, an international expert on brave leadership and founder of Global Courage has been dealing with two extremely stressful situations lately.  She had to help rescue her parents from the bush fires in her native Australia and recently found out that her husband has been diagnosed with COVID-19.  Her husband Andrew has been isolated in an Australian hospital.

Warrell is releasing her new book at the end of the month, You've Got This: The Life Changing Power of Trusting Yourself.

Ken Weiss

Mike Longo, who led a distinguished jazz career as a pianist, composer and educator, notably as longtime musical director for Dizzy Gillespie, died on Sunday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He was 83 and lived in New York.

The cause was COVID-19, confirmed Dorothy Longo, his wife of 32 years.

Dr. David Alland
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Public Health Research Institute

Dr. David Alland, Director of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Public Health Research Institute, which is within the Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases, along with his colleagues Drs. Padmapriya Banada and Sukalyani Banik, have conducted the first evaluation of an innovative point-of-care test to detect COVID-19.

Coronavirus Update: N.J. "Stay-at-Home" Order Now In Effect

Mar 23, 2020

“The time for warnings is over”: AG promises social distancing crackdown

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal promised stiff penalties — from citations to second-degree charges — for any business or individual who violates New Jersey’s retail restrictions or stay-at-home order (more information on those rules below).

“If you’re a retail store or an entertainment center and you stay open, or if you’re a bar and you keep serving patrons in your establishment, consider this as your final warning,” Grewal said.

Governor Cuomo
Bennett Raglin Getty Images

There are nearly 21-thousand confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State.  More than 12-thousand are in New York City as of Monday afternoon.  The state has ramped up testing even more with roughly 16 thousand people getting checked for COVID 19 every day.

Governor Cuomo is ordering hospitals to increase their capacity by at least 50 percent to make room for coronavirus patients.

“Mandatory directive from the state. Find more beds. Use more rooms.”

Ask Governor Murphy

The next edition of Ask Governor Murphy is Tuesday, March 24 at 7 p.m. on WBGO and here at

Join host Nancy Solomon of WNYC and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy as they talk about New Jersey's response to the coronavirus outbreak and it's impact on education, personal income and safey, state government and healthcare. 

The number to call is 844-677-9283, or on social media with #askgovmurphy. Submit your questions in advance at

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's Office

The number of coronavirus cases in the area continues to go up. There are more than 15-thousand in New York State as of Sunday afternoon. More than half of those are in New York City.

In New Jersey, there are nearly two thousand cases and the virus is now in all 21 counties. After New York ordered all workers at non essential businesses to stay out of the office or job site Friday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy followed through with the same order over the weekend for his state, an extreme measure to try and contain the spread of coronavirus.

Haunted by Italy Scenario, N.J. Rushes to Add Hospital Beds

Mar 20, 2020

The experience of northern Italy hangs over New Jersey’s health care workers like a specter. If they can’t create the bed space now to handle an inevitable surge in coronavirus patients, they’ll face the same agonizing decisions as their counterparts in Italy: whom to help and whom to turn away.

But as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Garden State soars above 800 and the death toll ticks up, its leaders are meeting the challenge with the urgency — and creativity — of war.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday he will issue orders to shut down all non-essential businesses in the state and limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people. It’s not clear yet when these rules will start being enforced.

Murphy said details of the plan are still being finalized and would be released within the next 24 hours.

But it’s clear the new rules would be even stricter than the state’s current ban on gatherings over 50 people, sweeping restrictions on business operations, and plea to avoid personal travel after 8 p.m.


Throughout the nation local and state governments are working around the clock to come up with ways to continue delivering vital services while they slow the advance of the coronavirus and tend to the rapidly growing cases of the virus. Currently our region is the leading national hotspot for this unprecedented outbreak.

Governor Cuomo Orders 100% of Non-Essential Workers Home

Mar 20, 2020
Governor Cuomo

There are more than seven thousand coronavirus cases in New York State as of Friday. More than half of them are in New York City.

With the numbers increasing, Governor Cuomo is ordering all employees to work from home. The governor says only essential businesses will be able to have workers in the office or on the job site.

“There will be a civil fine and mandatory closure for any business not in compliance."