New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware joining 4 other states to buy vital coronavirus gear in bulk

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and four other states have joined forces to create a regional supply chain for masks, gowns, ventilators, testing supplies and other equipment vital to fighting the coronavirus.

"Our states should never be in a position where we are actively competing against each other for life-saving resources," Governor Murphy said. "By working together across the region, we can obtain critical supplies as we begin the process to restart our economies, while also saving money for our taxpayers.

The states will also coordinate policies regarding the inventory of PPE each state's health care infrastructure should have to be prepared for a possible second wave of COVID-19.

The other states joining the consortium together spend about $5 billion per year. Working together, they'll have stronger purchasing power and improve their clout with global suppliers, said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The other states in the consortium are Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts.

CASES

On Sunday, Governor Murphy announced 3,144 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, pushing the total to 126,744.

Of those cases, 5,317 are in hospitals, 1,623 are in critical or intensive care and 1,198 are on ventilators.

Murphy reported 137 new deaths, bringing the state total to 7,871.

PARKS REOPENING

Murphy said early reports of behavior at New Jersey's just-reopened parks and golf courses were "so far so good" as far as people adhering to social distancing.

Murphy earlier said state troopers and park police would closely watch parks and golf courses as they reopened during especially fine weather over the weekend. People still must observe social distancing, and masks, though not required, were recommended, he said.

The governor warned that parks would be closed again if "we hear reports of people not taking either their health or the health ... of other park goers seriously," and such action would be justified if there were spikes in new cases and increases in the spread of the virus.

According to state officials, at least eight locations were "overrun" Saturday and had to be closed.

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