N.J. Hospital Data Show Progress; Covid-19 Deaths Pass 4,000

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy reported more signs of the coronavirus curve flattening, with hospital discharges outpacing admissions and a slower rate of growth in cases and deaths.

The state reported new cases increased by less than 10% for a 12th straight day — 3,026 for a total of 81,420. The 231 additional fatalities follow four straight days of more than 300 deaths. Still, deaths passed 4,000, more than the past three flu seasons combined, Governor Phil Murphy said Saturday at a press briefing.

“The data we are seeing — the numbers and the science — prove that this is a different enemy,” Murphy said. “We have vaccines that can prevent the flu.” The new coronavirus, he said, is more virulent, and a vaccine is more than a year off.

31,905 in U.S.Most new cases today

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Murphy pointed to several signs that New Jersey is flattening the virus curve. Last month, some counties’ cases were doubling every three days. Doubling in the 21 counties now is ranging from nine days, in Cumberland, to 19 days, in Bergen, the hardest hit.

Positive Signs

The number of patients in intensive care and critical care have begun to stabilize, and there are more hospital discharges than admissions, Murphy said. Cases have peaked in the northern part of the state, including hardest-hit Bergen County, but not yet in the central and southern regions, according to state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

“The progress is undeniable,” Murphy said. “But we’re not out of the woods. We have not yet plateaued.”

On April 16, Murphy said he had spoken to U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, of the need for $50 billion in addition to the $100 billion that New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey requested of President Donald Trump last month.

Murphy said Saturday that he had a “disturbing call” on April 17 from Schumer, saying there was little momentum in Congress for cash relief for states. “There’s one part of Congress in particular that doesn’t see the wisdom of putting money into states,” he said.

The governor warned of historic layoffs in state, county and local governments without cash, and he said he will continue to pursue as much as $9 billion in borrowing from the U.S. Federal Reserve to plug budget holes this fiscal year and next.

Murphy said he won’t heed calls to start reopening parts of the state until it is safe to do so.

“Please just stay home, stay away from each other,” Murphy said. “Find ways to get fresh air that’s responsible.”

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