North Jersey News Roundup for April 7, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy provided evidence the tactics employed by his administration were slowing down the pandemic for the first time since the residents of New Jersey were ordered to stay at home. State officials reported the curve in the state is beginning to level out as the projected peak in cases could happen between late April and early May.

Rutgers University-Camden scientist reported the curve of coronavirus-related deaths in New Jersey has started to flatten as well. Researchers cautioned that the data, independent of the state’s report, needs to remain the same over the next couple of days to see if it is really a trend. Politico NJ

Jersey City Ward D Councilman Michael Yun has died of complications from COVID-19, the first official currently holding office in North Jersey to do so. Yun started experiencing shortness of breath on March 24 and was admitted into the intensive care unit at Jersey City Medical Center. Yun became the first Korean-born person elected to the City Council in 2013 and won reelection in 2017. Hudson Reporter

New Jersey ordered 20 refrigerated trucks to take the stress off morgues and funeral homes as the projected peak in cases is at least 10 days away. The news came less than a week after officials said they planned to ask for the trucks, which will be able to store 1,680 bodies.

New Jersey will be allocated some of the 1,000 beds on the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort docked in New York City. New Jersey patients who need other types of treatment will be transferred to the Comfort which features a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, digital radiology, and a CT scan.

The Morris County Correctional Facility went into lockdown on April 5 due to the coronavirus. Twenty officers and other employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 22, while nine of the 141 inmates tested positive with two others awaiting results. The Daily Record

Small business owners in Sussex County are having trouble accessing the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, part of the $2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress. Among the issues county businesses encountered include their banks not being SBA-approved lenders and therefore not participating in the program; banks not yet ready to accept applications; and banks only accepting applications from current customers. New Jersey Herald

Englewood Cliffs-based E.T. Browne Drug Co. is shifting production at its manufacturing facility to hand sanitizer from cocoa butter. The company, known for Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula, started making medical-grade hand sanitizer at its facility in Pennsylvania to benefit emergency medical responders and military families, with donations planned to first responders in Bergen County. The Record

Jersey City is looking to buy out municipal employees with at least 15 years experience to deal with the $70 million financial impact caused by the coronavirus epidemic. The city is offering employees of 15 years or more $20,000 or 25% of their salary, whichever is greater, to voluntarily quit. Applicants must respond by April 20. The Jersey Journal

The state Supreme Court denied a motion by the Education Law Center to renew the Abbott orders for the state to provide and pay for adequate school buildings in 31 low-income urban districts. The court agreed with the state to allow the process to proceed for the fiscal year 2021 budget, saying a decision before that budget is enacted would be “premature.” NJ Spotlight

And finally…Wayne Hills High School football boosters are raising money to buy meals for doctors and nurses at local hospitals. The Record

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