90-day mortgage grace period for New Jersey as coronavirus cases top 11,000

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said homeowners are getting a 90-day grace period on mortgage payments as the state announced yet another double digital addition to the death toll.

Another 32 deaths were reported on Saturday, bringing the state's total to 140 people.

The state also received 2,289 new positive COVID-19 test results since Friday, bringing the total to 11,124.

Murphy and Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said many of the positive tests are from people who were tested a week earlier, and may not yet indicate any effect from the stricter rules announced last weekend. the rules restricted social interactions and the closing of non-essential businesses.

On Saturday night, the CDC urged residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Following the new guidance from the CDC, Murphy issued a statement.

"To be clear, this non-binding advisory guidance does not change the rules that have been established and in place for over a week now under Executive Order 107. If you have been working as part of our frontline response effort, from health care workers to supermarket workers, we still need you on the job. I encourage all New Jerseyans to continue practicing aggressive social distancing and take personal responsibility to help us get through this public health emergency," he said.



Murphy also detailed the 90-day grace period on mortgage payments for homeowners facing financial hardship in the state.

According to the governor, late payments during the grace period cannot be used to downgrade credit scores.

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"Lenders will also waive any late fees, or other costs which would otherwise arise, because of this 90-day grace period," Murphys said.

More than 40 financial institutions have agreed to this plan, Murphy said, and they have also committed to not initiating foreclosure cases or eviction proceedings for at least 60 days.

Murphy also pointed out that renters cannot be evicted under his executive order.

"To any renter facing eviction, let me be clear - under an executive order your landlord cannot kick you out of your home during this emergency. For any landlord who is getting mortgage relief today - we expect you will in turn provide similar relief to your tenants," Murphy said.



Murphy also noted that Ewing Township Police recently broke up a "party with 47 people - including a DJ - crammed into a 550-square foot apartment. The organizer was charged, as they should have been and deserved to be."

"This is not a game. Stay home. Be smart," Murphy said.



Murphy ordered acute care hospitals and health systems to begin reporting daily their supplies of personal protective equipment.



Drive-thru testing centers in Bergen and Monmouth counties were open Saturday solely for first responders and health care workers who were showing symptoms. Beginning Sunday, the centers - at Bergen County College in Paramus and the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel - will open on alternate days and provide up to 500 tests each day, roughly double what they each have been offering daily until now.

Murphy said the modification was made to ease pressure on staffing and resources.

A new drive-thru testing site will open on Monday at the County College of Morris in Randolph, by appointment for residents who have a referral from a health care provider.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
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