New Jersey's COVID-19 outbreak stabilizing, Gov. Murphy says

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Monday, April 20, 2020
New Jersey's COVID-19 outbreak stabilizing, Gov. Murphy says
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New Jersey's COVID-19 outbreak is stabilizing, with the number of patients leaving hospitals outpacing those being admitted, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey's COVID-19 outbreak is stabilizing, with the number of patients leaving hospitals outpacing those being admitted, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

Despite the stabilization, 177 more people died since Sunday's update, bringing the death toll to 4,377, Murphy said.

There are nearly 89,000 people with the coronavirus, he added.

There's growing evidence that social distancing is helping contain the virus, according to the governor. It now takes three weeks for the number of cases to double in northern New Jersey, up from just three days over the last few weeks.

For the first time, the number of people discharged from the hospital - 583 - outpaced newly admitted COVID-19 patients, which stood at about 460.

RELATED: Mother & daughter nurse team takes on COVID-19 at Temple University Hospital

Murphy says he will lay out benchmarks for re-opening the state's economy in the coming days, saying hospitalizations are going down, and new cases are starting to level off.

"Do not think for one minute that we're going to be able to flip a switch and return to life as we knew it. We will be careful, and we will be strategic," said Murphy during the daily state briefing in Trenton on Monday.

As long term care facilities continue to struggle, the state is now listing each facility with reported cases on its online dashboard.

"We remind all long term care facilities and all other healthcare facilities that they should report suspect outbreaks immediately to their local health departments," said N.J. Health Department Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

In Barrington, N.J. on Monday, Rite Aid opened its first self-swab testing site in South Jersey, giving kits to drivers in the parking lot. While the tests are free, eligibility is based on CDC guidelines, and patients need an appointment.

And in hard-hit Willingboro, Virtua Willingboro Hospital opened its testing site Monday, for township residents. The line was lengthy at opening.

"Because of its geographic location we probably have some commuters who go into north Jersey or into New York. We also have commuters into Philadelphia so that may be why we're seeing a higher spike here," said Dr. Sam Weiner, Virtua Medical Group Medical Director.

Murphy is expected to tour the field medical station in the Atlantic City Convention Center Tuesday morning. That field station is New Jersey's third built by the Army Corps of Engineers, and is expected to start accepting patients this week.


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