Governor Phil Murphy and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said it would get worse.
And it has.
Seven-hundred and thirty-six (736) new COVID-19 cases today brings the statewide total to 4,402 (819 in Bergen, which leads all counties with confirmed cases).
In 24 hours, the state suffered 18 more deaths, the highest yet by one person.
“That number does not get any easier,” Murphy said.
That makes it 62 COVID-19 deaths total in New Jersey.
The COVID-19 virus yesterday claimed the lives of 17 people in 24 hours.
“Our hospital networks while they are under tremendous stress, are meeting the needs [of New Jersey residents],” Murphy said.
But we must be ready when the surge comes, he added.
“We will fight to save every single life,” Murphy said. “We will fight to the death to save lives.”
“We will leave nothing on the battlefield,” he added. “We are America. We never leave the fallen soldier on the battlefield. We always go back. That is America. That is our values system.”
The governor made a point to thank President Donald J. Trump for making field medical statsions available to the state.
“I cannot express enough my thanks to the Army Corps,” the governor said, again, in reference to
hospital field equipment. “It is my fervent hope that these measures remain measures of preparedness.
“We will not be left scrambling. …We will continue to push for the personal protective equipment our healthcare workers desperately need,” added Murphy, who praised Merck for donating 300,000 masks.
He said he signed an executive order closing childcare centers up through grade 8 for all but essential workers only, effectvie April 1 – an issue worked on the legislative end by state Senator Joe Vitale (D-19) and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-19), who just lost her brother, the governor said, for reasons unrelated to COVID-19.
Murphy referenced the $2 trillion stimulus deal struck early Wednesday that includes sending checks directly to individuals, which will likely take until at least May before the money goes out.
“This is a big step in the right direction,” said the governor, hours after his colleague, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, panned the stimulus as inadequate.
“Let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” Murphy said. “It isn’t everything, let there be no doubt about it, but we’ll take it, including direct cash on the barrelhead.”