North Jersey News Roundup for April 21, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy promised he will unveil “guidelines” and “principles” this week the state will use when it comes time to reopen. But Murphy stressed any decision would be data and science driven that puts the health of citizens first, repeating the mantra “Personal health creates economic health” during his daily update.

New Jersey released an accounting of long-term care facilities affected by COVID-19. Statewide, there have been 1,779 deaths, with 10,500 cases testing positive at 450 long-term care facilities. The Veterans Memorial Home in Paramus had the most number of cases, with 39 deaths and 155 residents testing positive for coronavirus.

New Jersey has barred the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center from accepting new residents. State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the facility had been instructed to hire three additional administrators, including an infection control professional, after an assessment by the state’s Department of Health. The Record

New Jersey would cut the hours and pay of 100,000 public workers under a plan announced by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney. The proposal would allow the state and local governments to save hundreds of millions of dollars by making workers take unemployment for several days a week over three months while keeping their health benefits.

The crash in global oil prices accelerated in early trading April 21 as brent crude futures plunged 28% to $18.31 a barrel, their lowest level since 2002. U.S. oil markets came under further pressure as the June WTI futures contract dropped 41% to $11.95 a barrel while the May contract finished at a minus $1.50 a barrel in thin volumes on its final day of trading. The Wall Street Journal

Hudson County’s interim superintendent approved Jersey City school district’s $736 million budget for the 2020-2021 school year, which could increase the average tax bill by nearly $700 next year. The school budget grew by $66 million from a year ago and calls for a 47% hike to the school tax levy. The Jersey Journal

Facebook has removed events promoting anti-shutdown rallies in three states including New Jersey following complaints they violate lockdown rules put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. The company’s policy is events defying government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on its platform. Philadelphia Inquirer

Dr. Anthony Fauci says it could be possible for Major League Baseball to host games with a limited number of fans. Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, pushed the idea that it’s more feasible for fans to watch at home and players to compete in empty stadiums in perhaps Arizona or, as the spread of COVID-19 slows, in a select few cities.

Families of five children who died in the 2018 virus outbreak at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation are suing the center. The suits filed in state Superior Court in Passaic County claim that negligence resulted in their children’s deaths. The Record

New Jersey will use a majority of money from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to focus on electrifying its transportation sector. In its strategic plan, the administration plans to direct 75% of the estimated $80 million it will receive each year toward electrification of NJ Transit buses and infrastructure, and medium- and heavy-duty diesel vehicles in densely populated communities already overburdened with pollution. NJ Spotlight

And finally…Gov. Phil Murphy highlighted the COVID-19 recovery of Jack Allard, a former college lacrosse All American from Ridgewood. 

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