North Jersey News Roundup for April 27, 2020

The Murphy Administration is taking a far and wide approach when it comes to receiving advice on how to handle the coronavirus. Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli recently held discussions with Germany’s Minister of Health Jens Spahn about their efforts in containing COVID-19 and tracing the virus throughout their country.

New Jersey is still “a number of weeks away” from starting to reopen from the stay-at-home restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. The governor said officials are still deciding whether the state will reopen as a whole or whether it could be a regional approach.

Jersey City will reopen some of its parks, but only for passive use. Playgrounds, basketball courts and other areas of the parks where social distancing would less likely be observed will remain off limits.  The Jersey Journal

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the next COVID-19 aid bill will have state and local assistance “in a very significant way.” Gov. Phil Murphy has touted the National Governors Association plan asking for $500 billion in federal assistance as well as Sen. Bob Menendez bipartisan legislation to provide aid that has the same price tag.

New Jersey’s Department of Labor says online unemployment applications were down April 26. This is the first widespread outage for a system attempting to process nearly 900,000 benefits claims during the coronavirus pandemic. News12 New Jersey

The state’s Motor Vehicle Commission extended previously announced closures until at least May 11. Customers can use online services for some agency functions, including operations that support commercial trucking that is critical to keeping the supply chain moving during the COVID-19 public health crisis. The Record

New Jersey’s state government has purchased at least $120 million in personal protection equipment (PPE) so far to help healthcare and emergency workers combat the coronavirus pandemic. State officials expect the final bill to be much higher as officials seek more PPEs for workers as well as ventilators.

Holy Name Medical Center is bringing services directly to patients’ doors as they recover. Healthcare workers are providing at-home care for COVID-19 patients who have recently been discharged from the hospital but still may need additional care during the transition back to life at home. Hudson Reporter

Morristown is asking residents and visitors to its town to wear a face covering when visiting its downtown area. Face coverings will be provided upon request to anyone contacting town hall, as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise statewide.

Former Assemblyman Sean Connors removed himself for consideration to fill the Jersey City City Council seat left by Michael Yun’s death. Jersey City has 30 days from the date of the vacancy to fill Yun’s seat and Connors was to be one of four candidates who was expected to interview with Councilmen James Solomon and Rolando Lavarro Jr. The Jersey Journal

Tens of millions of pounds of American-grown produce is rotting in fields as food banks across the country scramble to meet a massive surge in demand. While other federal agencies quickly adapted their programs to the coronavirus crisis, the Agriculture Department took more than a month to make its first significant move to buy up surplus fruits and vegetables. PoliticoNJ

And finally…Deborah Kean, wife of former NJ Gov. Thomas Kean, died at the age of 76. The Daily Record

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