Governor Phil Murphy today reported 3,489 new positive coronavirus test results, bringing the state’s total to 25,590 positive cases. In 24 hours, the state processed the deaths of 182 more New Jerseyans from COVID-19 complications.
That brings the statewide death total to 537.
“This is going to be a really tough few weeks ahead of us, if not more than a few weeks,” said Murphy, who warned that the numbers will continue to rise.
Seventeen new deaths were associated with a long-term care facility, according to New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
Among the dead was Bernard Waddell Sr., 56, (pictured above), a 28-year veteran of the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office.
“He too was a front line hero,” Murphy said of Mr. Waddell.
According to NJ.com, Mr. Waddell had various underlying health conditions and had been out of the jail since March 17.
“He’s going to be sorely missed in my department,” said Ron Edwards, director of the Hudson County Department of Corrections. “He was more than just an officer. He was a gentleman.”
Waddell, a senior officer who had attained the rank of corporal, worked in the housing unit, which includes 64 inmates at the jail, said Edwards. Edwards called it the “hardest beat in the country.”
Murphy also praid tribute to Fountains of Wayne songwriter Adam Schlesinger, who perished from the virus. Mr. Schlesinger had Montclair roots.
Kim King Smith, an EKG technician from Newark at University Hospital, also died from COVID-19 virus complications, Murphy said.
“Her family said her smile was more infectious than the virus that took her life,” the governor said. “She was a front line hero. God bless her and God rest her soul.”
The COVID-19 casaulties will continue to rise.
“We’re not even at the end of the beginning,” Murphy said. “We’re all in this together.”
State Police Colonel Pat Callahan recounted several overnight incidents, including law enforcement’s breakup of a Lakewood funeral and resulting charges, an Edison man alledgedly coughing on a cop and claiming to have the coronavirus, 130 separate violations in Newark including the closure of four businesses, and a Morris County woman alledgedly drooling and spitting on a law enorcement offfcer while claiming to have the coronavirus.