Bergen County Executive Mourns Third Loss, Outlines Further Closures, Predicts Law Enforcement Infections

Bergen County's Tedesco

“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark… but when the flood came, he was prepared.”  Bergen County Executive James Tedesco announced at a press conference Thursday evening that Bergen County had “Identified 194 – 205 presumptive positive cases as of this afternoon.  This is a floating number, some are a little different from the state, this is based on mostly the state’s numbers.  52 of our municipalities or 75% have at least 1 identified case.”

He also added that “we lost our third Bergen County family member to this disease.  If results continue at the current rate that number is expected to rise…”
“This virus does not discriminate or care about our differences… it can affect each one of us and we must work to limit the spread of this virus.”  Tedesco said that, “We must act creatively and responsibly to follow health officials and limit contacts.”  The Bergen County Executive, as he has said multiple times, implored residents to limit contact with others and practice strict hygiene and social distancing.”

Tedesco thanked the malls which voluntarily closed, calling out the American Dream Mall in particular, saying their action protected the safety of their workers and thousands of visitors.  He also said that investigations were continuing as to price gouging as well as fake testing.  After a recent conference with local officials, he said that he encouraged mayors to visit their local businesses to see if social distancing practices were being followed, as well as to encourage businesses to close to reduce contact and the risk of viral spread.

“I believe the Murphy administration is doing what they think is best for the state of New Jersey,” Tedesco said when asked if he felt Governor Murphy was not moving fast and hard enough to impose restrictions.  Tedesco noted that Bergen County was the hardest hit in the state with 80 new cases this day alone.

He said that the Law Enforcement Task force and Mayors were in discussions as to what could be done with the inevitable infections of the law enforcement community.  “We have mutual aid, we have a county-wide COVID 19 law enforcement plan to address the potential for the loss of law enforcement folks around the county. That’s a huge concern for us in the county… we have to be ready.  God, I hope it doesn’t happen, but if it does happen, we’re going to be ready.”

With regards to Tedesco’s executive order which was not enacted by the governor’s office, Tedesco said a revised copy was then sent and “I hope he’ll look at some of those things and implement them on a state wide basis, or let us in Bergen county.”

Major changes to the executive order included a closure of office buildings, “there were a number of requests with regards to places where people gather.”

Tedesco said on Wednesday that he submitted the revised executive order to the Governor for review.  During his daily briefing on Tuesday, Murphy appealed to county and local governments to coordinate with the state. “We will override local and county actions to make sure we are consistent in our approach,” Murphy said.

At Thursday’s daily media briefing, Murphy ordered the closing of all nonessential businesses in the state starting tonight. “I am ordering effective 8:00pm the closure of all personal care businesses like barber shops, spas, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors among others, and social clubs, until further notice.”Murphy said. “We are as aggressive as any American state… but we reserve the right to revisit the steps we’ve taken and assess whether or not we should take further steps,” he added.  The Governor noted that among the new fatalities related to the virus was a Bergen County man in his ’30s.

Prior to submitting the order for review,  Tedesco on Tuesday afternoon had postponed the Saturday morning implementation of the order. On Monday night, Tedesco announced the order, which would expand restrictions on public and private activity and was set to commence 11pm on Tuesday night.  It includes the temporary closure of shopping centers, offices and other facilities. Last week, Tedesco announced the supplemental executive order to the state of emergency declaration, and had ordered schools to close and transition to online learning prior the statewide schools shutdown.

The county has 195 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday at 11:30am.

COVID-19 Cases by County (There are 742 positive cases and 9 deaths statewide as of Thursday at 11:30am).

Data is provisional and subsequent to revision.

118 Positives Pending Further Information

Bergen County:

195 Positive Test Result(s)

Middlesex County:

64 Positive Test Result(s)

Essex County:

63 Positive Test Result(s)

Hudson County:

55 Positive Test Result(s)

Monmouth County:

43 Positive Test Result(s)

Passaic County:

38 Positive Test Result(s)

Ocean County:

33 Positive Test Result(s)

Union County:

29 Positive Test Result(s)

Morris County:

26 Positive Test Result(s)

Somerset County:

21 Positive Test Result(s)

Mercer County:

20 Positive Test Result(s)

Burlington County:

14 Positive Test Result(s)

Camden County:

13 Positive Test Result(s)

Hunterdon County:

8 Positive Test Result(s)

Atlantic County:

3 Positive Test Result(s)

Gloucester County:

3 Positive Test Result(s)

Warren County:

3 Positive Test Result(s)

Sussex County:

2 Positive Test Result(s)

Cape May County:

1 Positive Test Result(s)

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