North Jersey News Roundup for April 15, 2020

The key to reopening the state and its economy will be testing, stated Gov. Phil Murphy. The governor said the healthcare infrastructure in the region will need to be built up to include widespread testing that has immediate results as he expanded on his comments that the “only path to a sustainable economic recovery is through a strong healthcare recovery” after seven states in the Northeast formed a working group to gradually lift the states’ stay at home orders.

President Donald Trump backed down from his claim that he was the “ultimate authority” in deciding when states should reopen. Trump said the states will have the responsibility of obtaining testing equipment to monitor the spread of the coronavirus within their borders. The Wall St. Journal

New Jersey has barred 123 nursing homes in the state from taking new residents because those nursing homes lack the ability to isolate patients with the coronavirus. At least 342 of the state’s 375 long-term care facilities have at least one patient with the virus, and approximately 5,945 people of the 60,000 residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in at least one fatality at New Jersey Firemen’s Home in Boonton. Twenty-two residents of the long term facility tested positive for COVID-19, along with 15 staff members. The Daily Record

North Jersey hospital executives believe they can handle the number of coronavirus hospitalizations even as the worst may be ahead. Officials reported an easing of the curve from the steep climb in patient admissions in the last month but warned a surge of critically ill patients from nursing homes and an easing of social isolation rules could quickly fill newly opened patient-care areas. The Record

Firefighters and hospital personnel are occupying a dormitory at Stevens Institute of Technology to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within their workforce. The fire department has expanded its operations to the Jonas Hall dorm so that it can spread out its workforce and minimize the number of staff together at once, while the Hoboken University Medical Center is using about 30 beds in the dorm to house nurses who don’t live in Hoboken. The Jersey Journal

New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority is seeing greater demand for its grant and loan programs than it can meet. The agency has paid out 140 grants averaging $3,500 to small businesses through its initial grant program—on a pace to distribute around 1,400 grants as compared with over 34,000 applications it has received. Similarly, a loan program with $10 million in funding already has $190 million in requests.

Moody’s Investors lowered New Jersey’s fiscal outlook to “negative” due to the threat the coronavirus economic crisis poses to state tax revenues. The state’s relatively low reserves will hurt its ability to weather this economic crisis and the recent stock market volatility on the state’s pension investments risks will increase the state’s public employee pension liabilities, analysis reported.

Jersey City was ordered to reopen daycare centers for children of essential workers in a lawsuit initiated by the state’s Attorney General. A Mercer County Superior Court judge mandated Jersey City permit 15 “Emergency Child Care Centers” to open to aid 55 local children of essential workers, including first responders. The Jersey Journal

The owner of a Morris County tennis and fitness club was charged with opening his business in defiance of the state’s emergency orders aimed at curbing the coronavirus outbreak in the state. The owner of the The Club at Mendham along with five others were charged with violating emergency orders for opening and using the facility. 

And finally…Among the celebrities who will be a part of the “Jersey 4 Jersey” benefit and concert April 22 are Bruce Springsteen, Chris Rock, Jon Bon Jovi, Kelly Ripa, Jon Stewart, SZA and Halsey.

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