North Jersey News Roundup for April 17, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state’s Attorney General will investigate the coronavirus outbreak at the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center facility. The governor said the state’s Department of Health dispatched officials to make sure safety measures and protocols at the Andover facility are being followed as well as assisting the center’s staff and residents.

Nineteen residents at the Atrium Post Acute Care at Park Ridge have died due to the coronavirus and 22 others who tested positive for COVID-19 have been moved to a facility in Gloucester County. Eighty of the remaining 101 residents are on a watch list due to symptoms of the virus. Additionally, 25 workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and 57 are showing symptoms of the disease. The Record

President Trump released a set of nonbinding guidelines to begin reopening daily life by May 1 or earlier if states want to. The guidelines recommend states and localities confirm a two-week downward trend in coronavirus symptoms and documented cases before starting to ease lockdowns while assuring hospitals have adequate capacity and robust testing in place. PoliticoNJ

Rep. Josh Gottheimer was selected for President Trump’s bipartisan task force to advise the White House on the reopening of the nation’s economy. Gottheimer, the only member from New Jersey selected, said he accepted the appointment to this task force as it gives him the chance to make the case of New Jersey businesses, hospitals, and front-line healthcare workers directly to the President. New Jersey Herald

New unemployment claims in New Jersey in the latest week were 141,420, bringing the four-week total of layoffs and furloughs in the state after coronavirus-related shutdowns to about 718,300. The claims in the last month are more than five times greater than New Jersey’s previous record spike in unemployment claims, 137,281 in the month after Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

New Jersey could borrow as much as $9 billion from the Federal Reserve to make up for lost state revenues caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Phil Murphy said the opportunity to participate in the central bank’s plan to buy $500 billion in bonds from states and local governments is an essential tool to have.

The New Jersey Housing Mortgage and Finance Agency suspended all rent increases at eligible properties. The suspension for about 36,000 rental units will apply to mostly low- and moderate-income families.

NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The agency said Corbett is feeling well and will maintain a regular work schedule while isolating at home. More than 100 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 783 are quarantined. The Daily Record

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail workers could strike if the system’s private operator doesn’t provide more personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic. The Transport Workers Union International alleges 21st Century Rail Corporation has failed to properly clean train cars and provide masks and gloves to employees as they work during the pandemic. The Jersey Journal

New York is sending 100 ventilators to New Jersey as the state readies its hospitals for an anticipated peak is in the coming days. New Jersey hospitals had 1,645 patients on ventilators, representing 56% of the state’s overall capacity. PoliticoNJ

Union City ordered residents to wear a protective face covering any time they are out in public, the first municipality in the state to do so. All individuals are required to wear cloth face coverings at all times while in public areas, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age. The Jersey Journal

And finally…Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will host a video happy hour to raise money for hospital workers, first responders and others on the front lines of the response to the coronavirus.

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