Described by a healthcare professional here as the most disruptive force he has ever seen in 35 years in the industry, the pandemic in New Jersey includes 318 additional positive test results for COVID-19 in New Jersey today.
That brings the official statewide number to 742.
“These numbers will go into the many thousands,” said Murphy. “We expect that to happen.”
The number of cases is obviously much higher today.
Most people who present symptoms are not tested.
Many people do not present symptoms.
In addition to the latest formal positive cases from the state lab, Murphy noted that four more people died of the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to nine.
Murphy ordered the closing of all nonessential businesses 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.
“We are as aggressive as any American state,” said Murphy, referencing New Jersey’s fight to contain the COVID-19 virus.
The governor urged people to stay at home and strictly adhere to social distancing, and in particular directed his remarks to healthy young people, who may not feel as threatened by the disease.
“Frankly, we want everyone staying home at this point,” Murphy said.
Among the dead today was a Bergen County male in his thirties.
More than eighty percent of the deaths to date in New Jersey were people who were sixty years and older, which corresponds to data from earlier impacted countries, according to State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
“The median age for our cases is 52,” she said. “Nearly half of those cases have been hospitalized.
“We are still very much focused on those 60 years and older,” Persichilli added.
Salem and Cumberland have yet to present official cases, unlike New Jersey’s other 19 counties.
“They will be in all,” Persichilli said.
The CEO of Hacksack Meridian Health Bob Garrett said capacity issues will continue to be a problem as this crisis continues to grow. He also cited the need for better testing turn around from testing labs throughout the country.
He applauded Murphy’s efforts to get people to stay home.
“If we can flatten that curve, we have a fighting chance,” said Garrett.