New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced 3,649 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the state’s total number of cases to 22,255.

The governor also announced 91 new deaths as a result of the illness, increasing the state’s death toll to 355 total fatalities.

‘Surge’ of cases begins in North Jersey

State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said during the state’s daily briefing Wednesday that hospitals in North Jersey were beginning to see a surge in coronavirus cases.

No self-serve gas in N.J., Murphy says, as Camden opens testing site

Mar 31, 2020

On Tuesday, New Jersey officials reported 2,196 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state total to 18,696.

The virus also caused an additional 69 deaths, increasing the overall death toll to 267 residents.

New Jerseyans still can’t pump their own gas — at least not yet

Gov. Phil Murphy said he has “no plans” to suspend New Jersey’s prohibition on self-service gas even as the trade group representing gas stations says the change would make workers and drivers safer.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.”

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.

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.

The number of known coronavirus cases in New Jersey now total 742, including nine deaths.

Gov. Phil Murphy said in his daily briefing Thursday that there are 318 new cases and four additional deaths. COVID-19 patients’ ages range between 3 and 95 years old.

“The numbers are going up, and they’re going up meaningfully,” said Murphy, who attributed the rise to partial community spread and increased testing capacity.

The number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey jumped to 427 on Wednesday, including five deaths, Gov. Phil Murphy said.

State officials said the increase was not a surprise, given that coronavirus is now spreading in the community and health workers are increasing the number of tests for patients with symptoms of the illness.

“It is a beast,” Murphy said, “no matter how you slice it.”

So many New Jersey residents tried to apply for unemployment insurance on Monday — about 15,000 — that the state website crashed, said Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday, the first full day that severe new restrictions on business operations were in place.

It was a strong indicator of the financial stress Americans are feeling as states across the nation restrict individual movement and limit economic activity to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has announced statewide restrictions beginning 8 p.m. Monday that will severely limit business operations and discourage individual travel in an extraordinary effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Democrat also announced that all schools in the state would close indefinitely starting Wednesday, including public, private and parochial schools from grades pre-K to 12, as well as all colleges and universities.

As New Jersey’s official coronavirus count increased to 23 on Wednesday, health officials also warned the state may be starting to see “community spread,” which means the illness is being transmitted among the general population.

Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said two of the people with COVID-19 could not be connected to known coronavirus cases and had not recently traveled to areas with community outbreaks, such as Italy.

“Community spread indicates that the coronavirus is amongst us, and we have an expectation that that may be the case,” Persichilli said.

A 69-year-old Bergen County man with a history of health problems has died from the novel coronavirus, the first fatality from the illness in New Jersey, state officials announced Tuesday.

The man did not have a history of traveling outside the U.S. but had traveled to New York, state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the family,” Persichilli said.

Stockton University in South Jersey has settled nine lawsuits filed against it by women who said they were sexually assaulted on and off campus as students.

The women accused the public university of failing to protect them from sexual violence and neglecting to thoroughly investigate their claims, allegations that rattled the rural college when the first lawsuits were filed in the spring of 2018.

A second person in New Jersey has tested positive for novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver confirmed during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

The news came less than 24 hours after Gov. Phil Murphy released a statement announcing the first positive coronavirus case — a man in his 30s from Fort Lee, N.J.

Officials have not released the name of that man, who is resting and doing well at Hackensack University Medical Center in Bergen County, according to Ihor Sawczuk, regional president for the northern market for Hackensack Meridian Health.

No Positive Tests for Coronavirus in N.J.

Mar 3, 2020

New Jersey officials said Monday that the state still had no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, which has now been detected in 91 people across the U.S. and claimed six lives in this country.

But top New Jersey health officials warned that it was possible that the virus — which appears to have originated from animals at an outdoor market in Wuhan, China — could make its way to the Garden State.

“I would have to say, given what we’re seeing in some other states, I would not be surprised if that happened,” said Department of Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli.

New Jersey school districts can now see how much state funding to expect next year, after Gov. Phil Murphy announced the aid levels Thursday morning.

Cities and towns across the Garden State eagerly anticipate the school funding announcement, especially after the state changed its school funding formula in 2018 and altered how districts share state money.

Murphy said that an overall increase in “formula aid” — $337 million more than last year — would help lower the cost of property taxes, which are largely driven by local education costs.

Each year the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce rents out an entire Amtrak train, fills it with the state’s political and business elite, and sets off on a booze-filled networking junket to the nation’s capital.

This year things will be different.

After NJ Advance Media published a comprehensive story on sexual assault and misconduct in state politics in December, which included allegations of impropriety on the chamber train, the business group made changes to prevent sexual harassment on the trip and give victims a way to report bad behavior.

For the third straight year, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is proposing a state budget to lawmakers that includes a tax hike on earners making over $1 million a year.

“The millionaire’s tax is a matter of fairness to our middle class homeowners and renters, our seniors, and the countless families reaching to pull themselves up and into the middle class,” the former Goldman Sachs executive said during his budget address Tuesday.

A top New Jersey lawmaker wants to change the state constitution to dedicate $500 million for public transit each year.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said the constitutional amendment is necessary to ensure New Jersey Transit has a reliable funding stream and guard against the ebb and flow of annual budgetary priorities.

“If you constitutionally dedicate funding, then they can rely on that funding year after year,” Sweeney said of the agency.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced five legislative proposals Wednesday that would drastically overhaul the state’s ethics rules for government officials, in what he called the first comprehensive reform in a decade.

“These proposals will shine light into the dark corners of our politics and re-instill faith, as best we can, that those elected to serve are there to serve the people, all of the people, not the special [interests] or their own interests,” Murphy said.

Katie Brennan, who accused a former campaign staffer for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy of raping her during the Democrat’s 2017 gubernatorial bid, has recommendations for how to improve the system for victims of sexual assault and harassment.

Brennan, who now works in Murphy’s administration, made the proposals last week in a letter her attorney sent to the Workgroup on Harassment, Sexual Assault and Misogyny in New Jersey Politics, which was recently formed by state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has floated legislation that would crack down on sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. He made the proposal as he defended himself over allegations of a toxic atmosphere on his 2017 gubernatorial campaign and after a year-long review of state law on the subject.

The legislation would clarify what counts as a “hostile work environment” in New Jersey law. It would also require all public and private employers to enact policies around harassment and discrimination.

For Aubrey Navarro-Conway, who has Type 1 diabetes, the constant question of how she will be able to afford insulin made her desperate and self-conscious.

“It took me a long time to understand that the only people who should be embarrassed are the pharmaceutical companies that are getting rich off the desperation of me and patients like me,” she said.

People wanting to be anything from an accountant to an acupuncturist in New Jersey need to obtain professional licenses before they can ply their trade.

A proposal in the state Legislature would make certain immigrants living in the state eligible to apply for and obtain those licenses, which supporters said would invigorate the economy and bring some immigrants out of the shadows.

One died while commanding troops during the Civil War. The other helped secure women the right to vote by passing the 19th Amendment. Which should be honored in the halls of the U.S. Capitol?

The historical debate was thrown into stark relief Monday as the New Jersey Senate considered a bill that would replace a statue of Brig. Gen. Philip Kearny with one of suffragette Alice Paul in the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey is ready to go to court with the Trump administration over the state’s Immigrant Trust Directive, which limits cooperation between local and state law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

On Monday, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the Murphy administration over the policy, which it says is unconstitutional.

“We will defend our position with great vigor, in particular on behalf of public safety,” Murphy said at a press conference on Tuesday. “The other side of the argument does not have the facts on their side.”