North Jersey News Roundup for March 20, 2020

Rep. Josh Gottheimer is working with North Jersey health officials to get more personal protective equipment for frontline nurses and doctors during the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Gov. Phil Murphy moved back special elections in the state to May 12 to coincide with school board elections. Voting scheduled for that date will be done by mail-in only.

Coronavirus cases were found in six nursing homes and long-term care facilities in the state, with three deaths reported. Three deaths were among residents of nursing homes in Hudson and Essex counties.

Atlantic Health System launched Morris County’s first by-appointment-only drive-thru testing center at Morristown Medical Center. The testing center receives appointments made by Atlantic Medical Group physicians only with patients remaining in their cars during testing The Daily Record

Ramapo College postponed commencement ceremonies as it will continue with remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester. The school will continue to make food, housing, wi-fi, and mail services available to those students who have already received a housing waiver to remain in residence. The Record

NJ Transit will need a federal bailout of $1.25 billion in order to survive, according to a letter CEO Kevin Corbett sent to the state’s congressional delegation. The agency, which has reported an 88% ridership decline during the pandemic, says the figure does not include long-term impacts or the potential damage done if the state is unable to continue providing a subsidy to the agency and uncertainty of funding from the state’s gas tax-financed Transportation Trust Fund. Politico NJ

Additionally, NJ Transit is cutting back its rail service. All weekday trains, except those on the Atlantic City line, will run on weekend schedules. The Gladstone Branch service will operate on weekdays only and there will be eight additional trips between Dover and Hoboken on weekdays. Bus, light rail and Access Link will continue their regular weekday schedules for the time being. The Record

Wawa employees will pour and prepare coffee for customers as the company adjusts its policies to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The company suspended all self-service fountain beverages, Icee drinks, cappuccino and iced coffee. Employees will individually bag all bakery products for customers as well.

Stocks futures rose and the U.S. dollar weakened against other currencies on March 20. Futures tied to the S&P 500 jumped 4.2%, suggesting the benchmark U.S. equity index may rise for a second day. The Stoxx Europe 600 rallied 4.8%, led higher by shares in oil-and-gas companies, which were buoyed by rising energy prices. The Wall Street Journal

Bayonne and Hoboken passed ordinances making Bayonne Medical Center and Hoboken University Medical Center zoned specifically for hospitals. While the sale of both hospitals remain in negotiations, officials stated the new zoning rules serve to clarify that regardless of who owns the properties, they must remain hospitals. The Jersey Journal

And finally…New Jersey Lottery extended the expiration date by 30 days for any ticket scheduled to expire from March 19, 2020 to April 5, 2020.

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