North Jersey News Roundup for April 10, 2020

State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli expects the COVID-19 peak to hit in the next couple of days, with 14,400 people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases. That would be nearly double the current amount of New Jersey patients in the hospital with 2,280 patients projected to need critical care. Despite the oncoming expected surge, Gov. Phil Murphy said the state is in fact in the “early stages of progress.”

Gov. Phil Murphy doesn’t plan to get tested for the coronavirus even though one of his top staffers tested positive for the illness. Murphy, who had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his kidney in early March, said he doesn’t have any symptoms and has made sure to keep his distance from people.

Nearly 215,000 New Jerseyans filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the state Department of Labor. In all, the number of New Jerseyans applying for unemployment benefits reached nearly 577,000 for the three-week period beginning March 15. PoliticoNJ

People already collecting unemployment will see their $600 supplemental unemployment benefit arrive April 14 for the week of March 30. The payment, a week later than previous guidance, will be a separate payment and will continue to be paid for eligible weeks through July 31.

Federal funding will provide $5 million to 96 local health departments in New Jersey to support local efforts fighting the coronavirus pandemic including contact tracing, providing guidance to long-term care facilities, local testing and offering support for those in need of a safe place to quarantine. The allocation would be based on the population size of the community each department serves. The Record

New Jersey Economic Development Authority received over 32,000 applications for its small business grants totaling $5 million. Only 1,250 to 2,000 grants will be awarded ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for those businesses with 10 full-time equivalent employees or fewer. Of the $5 million available, $3 million has been earmarked for businesses with five or fewer full-time equivalent employees.

The closure of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission locations was extended through April 26. The agency’s public offices, road testing, and inspection facilities will remain closed but its website continues to function and can process most renewals, replacements and changes of address.

Newark police have charged more than 900 people and closed around 50 businesses for violating stay at home orders. Anthony Ambrose, Newark’s public safety director, said the daily number of summonses has been falling as more people are staying inside and the level of awareness of the order rises in the city.

Sussex County beaches are closed to support the state’s mitigation strategy of social distancing. The county is home to several public beaches at state parks, plus many private lake community beaches. The order, if it continues to be in place, would affect the area’s two waterparks, Tomahawk Lake in Sparta and Mountain Creek in Vernon, both of which usually open in June. New Jersey Herald 

Kearny lost its appeal of a $1.8 million judgment it received from New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) for the 104 acres of Keegan Landfill taken by eminent domain. A state appellate panel rejected Kearny’s argument that the payment for the land should have been $23.4 million because the NJSEA earned $14 million to $16 million per year in tipping fees. The Jersey Journal

And finally…The $190 million winning ticket in April 8’s Powerball lottery drawing was sold at a Buy-Rite liquor store in Piscataway. The Record

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