An emotional Governor Phil Murphy announced an additional 2,494 positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 130,593. New Jersey lost 334 lives to COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 8,244.
Among the dead processed by the state in the last 24 hours: Dr. Gerald Glisson of Paterson, 46, principal of Eastside High School for the past three years, who began his career as a special education teacher before serving as athletic director and principal at Great Falls Academy and a coach.
“He was a beloved, respected presence, not to mention a role model,” said the governor. “A giant, literally.”
Dr. Glisson leaves his wife, Michelle, and daughter Sydney, 17, and Skyler, 12; and – as part of the larger Paterson family who oved him – coach Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35), a very close confidant.
“Our deepest prayers are with those he touched,” Murphy said of Dr. Glisson.
Asked later by NJ.com’s Brent Johnson’s about former Governor Chris Christie’s comments about reopening the country, Murphy said he only saw a few headlines.
But “We’re not in the endzone” on COVID-19.
As a conceptual matter, he added, he backs Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) on furloughs for 100,000 state employees.
But, aain, “We’ve got to be very careful. We need government more than ever. People are working to the bone.”
As part of his briefing today, the governor celebrated the slowed rates of doubling of new COVID-19
A majority of counties are showing 30 days to double.
We have experienced one full week of declining numbers.
But amid cries to reopen the country’s economy, the state remains in rocky circumstances, Murphy said.
“Three-hundred and eighty-five people entered the hospital yesterday with COVID-19,” the governor reminded reporters at the War Memorial. “Please God, I hope all of them get out of there, but the data shows otherwise. Let’s keep focused on the task ahead.”
Wear a face covering, a kerchief or handkerchief, Murphy said.
Wash hands with soap and water.
“Data determines dates,” he said with emphasis, pushing back against percolating calls for New Jersey to swing wide the doors.
At today’s briefing, Murphy also noted the state’s ability to use $467 million in school aid from $2.4 billion in CARES Act Funding.
He begged Congress for more state relief.