Welcome to InsiderNJ’s COVID-19 update center. Here readers will find the information we post related to the outbreak, in one place, including statements and announcements from official sources, be they governmental agencies, departments, or elected officials, from the state, county, and local levels as InsiderNJ becomes aware of them. There’s a lot of information coming through, and we know it can be challenging to keep up. Our aim is to segment the information in a digestible format, along with links for further reading. This update tracker will serve as a chronological reference tool for better understanding the developing narrative, the gravest and most challenging facing New Jersey since Super Storm Sandy. This is by no means to be construed as a complete picture of the entirety of the COVID-19 impact on the state, but aims to provide an easy-to-access and easy-to-follow tool for updates, as we receive that information, housed in a simple format under one roof. We thank you for your attention and wish all of our readers, wherever they may be, safety and health as we face this danger together. Follow Insider NJ’s County COVID-19 Data Center for regular county updates.
12/25 11pm: The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 454,902 cases and 16,650 fatalities (and 1,945 probable fatalities) as of Friday; the viral transmission rate is .95.
12/21 2:45pm: With the 2021 campaign already underway, Steinhardt wants Persichilli to take the fall. Gov. Phil Murphy had no patience with that. “The last thing we need is people who don’t know what they are talking about from the cheap seats,” the governor said at today’s briefing.
Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson today announced the Department has launched two new helplines in partnership with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care to provide emotional support and crisis counseling to health care workers and first responders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
12/21 12:44pm: Watch Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 briefing. Murphy is extending the public health emergency for another 30 days.
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 435,763 cases and 16,315 fatalities (and 1,908 probable fatalities) as of Monday; the viral transmission rate is .99.
12/17 9:45am: The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has distributed a record $20 billion in wage replacement benefits in the 39 weeks since COVID-19 abruptly shuttered businesses and schools around the state.
12/16 12:30pm: The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 415,075 cases and 16,095 fatalities (and 1,908 probable fatalities) as of Wednesday; the viral transmission rate is 1.08.
12/16 10am: Senator Anthony M. Bucco has introduced legislation that would reserve certain hours at Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) locations for health care workers and first responders during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
12/15 5:50pm: “Hope is HERE.” That’s precisely how Phil Murphy described things on his Facebook page in preparation for today’s initial administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to health care workers at University Hospital in Newark.
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 409,414 cases and 16,004 fatalities (and 1,868 probable fatalities) as of Tuesday; the viral transmission rate is 1.1.
12/14 4:21pm: Indoor dining in New Jersey, albeit with limited capacity, will continue. Notwithstanding a perceived need for unity, Gov. Phil Murphy said again today that he has no plans to close indoor dining in New Jersey, which began in early September at 25 percent capacity.
12/14 12:50pm: Watch Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 briefing at 1pm.
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 405,488 cases and 15,907 fatalities (and 1,868 probable fatalities) as of Monday; the viral transmission rate is 1.13.
12/14 11:13am: NJGOP: ‘It is becoming more and more clear with each new record high in cases that Governor Murphy’s response to Covid has failed New Jersey. He has blown past every constitutional red line, is governing by fiat, and killing our small businesses and economy with draconian regulations not based in science.’
Mitch McConnell and Congress need to pass a bipartisan COVID-relief package which includes local and state aid immediately, otherwise states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania will suffer and risk laying off critical frontline workers in the midst of a second surge of the coronavirus. That’s the message New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf want federal Republican leaders to hear, following a Zoom conference Monday morning.
12/13 5:30pm: Governor Murphy announced that the first COVID-19 vaccines will be administered on Tuesday at University Hospital in Newark to health workers and LTV staff and residents.
12/11 8:20pm: Ramping up enforcement of COVID-19 orders as the virus surges in New Jersey, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) today announced they are seeking to suspend the liquor licenses of 10 New Jersey bars and restaurants accused of violating the heightened restrictions placed on eating and drinking establishments by Governor Murphy last month.
Murphy has signed many executive orders since the pandemic began, some of which have been related to elections. He said he would not stop issuing needed executive orders if they’re good for the state as a whole. But he added, “If it directly impacts me, I will not go near that.”
12/11 2pm: Watch Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 briefing at 2pm.
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 390,256 cases and 15,794 fatalities (and 1,868 probable fatalities) as of Thursday; the viral transmission rate is 1.14.
12/10 5:51pm: The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 386,606 cases and 15,740 fatalities (and 1,868 probable fatalities) as of Thursday; the viral transmission rate is 1.12.
12/10 5:33pm: Concerned that aggressive testing for the COVID virus could be yielding ambiguous data, Senator Joe Pennacchio today called for the state to revise laboratory reporting on positive case numbers.
12/10 11:56am: The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has distributed $19.7 billion in unemployment benefits to workers across the state since COVID-19 upended businesses nine months ago, with claimants receiving an average of $13,890 in wage-replacement benefits.
12/9 1:30pm: Senator Michael Doherty sent a letter to Governor Phil Murphy today calling for the State to change the reporting requirements for positive COVID-19 tests to include information which may help determine whether a quarantine period is necessary for the person who has tested positive and their close contacts.
12/9 1:15pm: Watch Governor Murphy’s daily COVID-19 briefing at 1pm.
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 381,486 cases and 15,674 fatalities (and 1,868 probable fatalities) as of Tuesday; the viral transmission rate is 1.1.
12/8 3:08pm: Rep. Gottheimer led a bipartisan group of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation to request that the New Jersey Department of Health provide information on the State’s plan to effectively address any current and future COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities, as we enter the winter months and COVID-19 cases continue to spike.
12/8 12:45pm: The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 377,055 cases and 15,590 fatalities (and 1,836 probable fatalities) as of Tuesday; the viral transmission rate is 1.08.
12/8 12:41pm: Restaurants are in trouble. Hotels are in trouble. Everyone knows that. An estimated 36 percent of New Jersey restaurants say they will probably close in 2021, according to the state’s restaurant and hospitality association. Hotels nationally are shedding on average 400 jobs an hour. Describing the problem is easy; fixing it is hard. The New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association seems to be trying at least.
12/7 4:45pm: The governor continues to be unhappy at a growing refusal of state residents to cooperate with contact tracers. The premise seeks to determine through interviews how rapidly and thoroughly an infected person has spread the virus.
12/7 12:53pm: Watch Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 briefing at 1pm.
Governor Murphy says he spoke with President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday evening, calling the incoming president a ‘friend for many many years’ and is ‘looking forward to working with him once he takes the reigns of the federal government’. Among the topics addressed was the pandemic, and COVID-19 federal stimulus funds.
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 371,579 cases and 15,500 fatalities (and 1,836 probable fatalities) as of Monday; the viral transmission rate is 1.05.
12/7 12:48pm: Senator Steven Oroho sent a letter to Governor Phil Murphy asking how nearly $200 million of unallocated CARES Act funds will be spent to help New Jersey before the upcoming end-of-year deadline.
Senator Sarlo introduced legislation today to ensure that forgiven PPP loans would not be subject to the state’s income tax and to allow the deduction of expenses paid for by the federal PPP.
12/4 1pm: Watch Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 briefing at 1pm.
12/3 1pm: The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 350,999 cases and 15,373 fatalities (and 1,836 probable fatalities) as of Thursday; the viral transmission rate is 1.06.
12/3 11:13am: The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported more than 13,500 new unemployment applications last week, representing a 1,350-claim increase over the prior week, with federal pandemic jobless benefits set to expire at the end of the year.
12/2 1pm: Watch Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 briefing at 1pm.
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 346,206 cases and 15,309 fatalities (and 1,836 probable fatalities) as of Wednesday; the viral transmission rate is 1.08.
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