TRENTON, NJ -- Gov. Phil Murphy announced at his daily COVID-19 press briefing on Thursday that he has extended New Jersey's public health emergency another 30 days due to the coronavirus, even though the spread of the disease has slowed significantly by many important measures. For instance, hospitalizations are down 94% from New Jersey's peak and 12% from June 17, and the number of patients in ICU has declined 89% from the peak and 38% from June 17. Likewise, patients on ventilators have dropped by 90% from the peak and 31% since June 17.
The extension of the public health emergency means we’ll have the authority to remain vigilant and prepared to act should there be a new outbreak of COVID-19, Murphy explained.
"Even though we have lots of positive data to see, we still have challenges ahead," he said.
Thursday's figures were: 1,027 patients in NJ hospitals, with 216 patients in either critical or intensive care and 170 ventilators in use.
The governor reported 51 new COVID19 patients admitted and 83 live discharges.
The governor also announced that he would sign an Executive Order raising the limit on crowd size for outdoor gatherings to 500 people, effective 6:00 a.m. on July 3. Limits on all indoor gatherings – 25% of capacity, but with a maximum of 100 people – remain unchanged. Additionally, he said that in honor of the Fourth of July, "as a sign of rebirth for our state, our flags will return to full-staff." (For the past 90 days, flags have been at half-staff for every New Jersey resident lost to COVID19.)
“Increasing the outdoor capacity limit has been made possible by continued progress against COVID-19,” Murphy said. “The hard work of the residents of our state is allowing us to make this move, and will make it much easier to hold important events like graduation ceremonies in the coming months.”
Help for Business Owners
During the Thursday press conference, Gov. Murphy also announced that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has created the Entrepreneur Support Program to help support emerging businesses and startups.
"By working alongside investors, we’re strengthening the system through which these businesses receive their capital," Murphy said. "Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the NewJersey EDA has helped assist our business community and position our economy for long-term health as we continue our restart and recovery."
He added that 96% of all people who have been deemed monetarily eligible to received benefits have gotten their payments. In total, the NJ Labor Department has distributed $9.1 billion into the accounts of New Jersey families, according to the governor.
Help for Renters
Murphy announced emergency rental assistance is available for New Jersey renters who have experienced a substantial loss of income due to the COVID19 pandemic. Applications will be accepted by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs beginning Monday, July 6. Learn more by clicking here.
"We have to keep up with the practices that have gotten us this far in the past three months," Murphy said. "We are a model for the nation on how to responsibly restart – let’s keep it that way."