Congresswoman Being Tested for Covid-19 as State Death Toll Passes 9/11 Milestone

A spouse of a North Jersey congresswoman tested positive for COVID-19 as the state’s death toll passed the amount of residents that previously defined the 2000s.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill revealed April 3 her husband tested positive and was diagnosed with COVID-19. After developing symptoms and speaking to her doctor, Sherrill has scheduled a test.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is that we all follow the recommendations of the (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the ‘stay at home’ order that is in place,” the first-term congressman said in a press release. “The road ahead for New Jersey is going to be a hard one, so now more than ever, we must take care of each other and work together so that we can end this crisis.”

Passing 9/11

The news comes as the state announced 200 new deaths related to the violence April 4, raising the total to 846. Gov. Phil Murphy noted the number of residents who have died due to complications of the coronavirus surpassed the number of New Jerseyans killed on Sept. 11, 2001, 704.

“This pandemic is writing one of the greatest tragedies in the state’s history,” said Murphy, who ordered flags flown at half-staff to honor the dead on April 3. “Just as we have committed to never forgetting those lost on 9/11, we must commit to never forgetting those we are losing to this.”

Updated Statistics

As of April 4, the number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey climbed to 34,124 with 4,331 new cases and 200 new deaths, bringing that total to 846. Of the 846 deaths, Bergen had the most of any county with 179, while other North Jersey county totals include Essex at 155, Hudson at 78, Morris at 51, Passaic at 38, Sussex at nine and Warren with six.

Of the 846 people who have died, 300 had documented underlying conditions but four did not, said New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. The rest of the deaths are under investigation. 

Bergen Nears 6K Cases

Bergen is still the primary hot spot in the state with 5,760 total cases, followed by Essex at 3,584, Hudson at 3,491, Union at 2,916, Passaic at 2,856, Middlesex at 2,578, Monmouth at 2,065, Ocean at 2,003, Morris at 1,618, Somerset at 765, Mercer at 586, Camden at 481, Burlington at 469, Sussex at 236, Gloucester at 215, Hunterdon at 171, Warren at 182, Atlantic at 98, Cape May at 50, Cumberland at 40 and Salem at 25. 

The breakdown does not include 3,935 cases still under investigation to determine where those people reside.

4,000 Hospitalized

There were more than 4,000 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the state as of April 3, with about 2,000 more awaiting test results, Persichilli said. Of those hospitalized with the virus, 1,494 patients are in critical care, with more than 85% on ventilators. 

Of the newest coronavirus cases in New Jersey, 61% are male and 39% are female, six patients are under the age of 30, 47 are between 30 and 39, 136 are between the ages of 50 and 64, 268 are between the ages of 65 and 79, and 389 are over the age of 80.

In general, Persichilli stated about 80% of people with the virus have mild symptoms, while about 15% are more serious. 

Hospitals Need Help

Nine hospitals were on divert April 3, much of this was due to staffing issues, resulting in Persichilli to state “we need volunteers” to properly staff hospitals.

Murphy said more staffing is crucial as the state is attempting to bring thousands of new beds online is a data-driven process, working with hospitals to increase capacity.

“We’re adding hospital capacity as quickly as we can,” the governor said. “We’re building-out new wings and bringing vacated buildings back online. We’re building-out our field medical stations. We’re working to expand hospital capacity by utilizing hotels and dormitories located in hot-spot areas, or in close proximity to hospitals which are nearing capacity.”

Supplies from Hoarder

New Jersey will soon get more personal protective equipment (PPE) to help fight the coronavirus outbreak after a federal bust of a “hoarding situation” in Brooklyn.

Federal authorities seized hundreds of thousands of personal protective equipment items that are desperately needed by healthcare workers and first responders testing or treating people for the virus

Murphy said the state will receive more than 70,000 N95 masks and 5,000 gloves, among other PPE, from the site.

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