North Jersey News Roundup for April 8, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all state and county parks closed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak. The order is a result of people gathering in groups in parks thinking outside social distancing doesn’t matter, according to Murphy. The decision on whether local town parks may remain open is left up to municipalities.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will take a regional approach to reopening the economy when it is safe to do so. The governors are focusing on ramping up the availability of a rapid test for the virus and a new antibody test that will show if someone already had the virus and recovered. Once widely available, such testing could allow the states to gradually open businesses back up as some social distancing restrictions remain in place. PoliticoNJ

California is sending New Jersey 100 ventilators to help the state meet the expected peak in the coming weeks. New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said the machines sent come with the understanding they will be returned to California in about three weeks.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill tested negative for COVID-19. Sherrill was tested after her husband was diagnosed with the coronavirus. The congresswoman is the second North Jersey member of Congress to be tested after coming in close contact with people who had the virus. Rep. Josh Gottheimer previously tested negative. The Daily Record

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh revealed he has contracted the coronavirus. The mayor will continue running municipal government with plans to provide daily Facebook updates on his own condition as well as the status of the city during the crisis. The Record

The call for volunteers is extended to New Jersey immigrants with health-related degrees who are working in other industries, confirmed Gov. Phil Murphy. The governor welcomed those with degrees who are not practicing medicine as a result of language barriers preventing them from getting a license in the U.S. or having financial responsibilities precluding them from obtaining the needed certification to work as a medical professional.

Warren County opened a drive-thru coronavirus test site at Warren County Technical School in partnership with St. Luke’s University Hospital Network. Patients must be Warren County residents and complete a two-step scheduling process in order to be tested. Five testing dates have been set with more expected to be added. New Jersey Herald

Seventy percent of school districts across New Jersey report 90% of their students have online access with steps being taken to make sure the other students can do school work using the internet. For students without online access, pen-and-paper packets are distributed every month for students to use with their school books.

The Roxbury Board of Education voted to use its spring break days to temporarily drop to a four-day school week. The board redistributed their spring break days to reflect a day off for each of the next five weeks. Beginning the week of June 8, the schedule reverts to five-day weeks in order to meet the mandated 180-day requirement. The Daily Record

And finally…The Ramapo River was part of 600 miles of rivers and streams in the state designated for higher protection to keep their water quality from degrading. NJ Spotlight

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