New Jersey National Guard member dies from coronavirus, governor says

TRENTON, New Jersey -- News came Monday of the first U.S. service member to die from the coronavirus.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said the death of a New Jersey Army National Guardsman strengthened their resolve to work more closely with partners to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"This is a stinging loss for our military community," Esper said in a release.

Governor Murphy announced 37 more deaths, including Captain Douglas Linn Hickok.

"I'm heartbroken by the loss of @NJNationalGuard Captain Douglas Linn Hickok to coronavirus. He was a drilling guardsman and physician's assistant, originally from Jackson. Our thoughts are with his wife, children, and their family," the governor wrote on Twitter.

Murphy has announced 3,347 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the state total to 16,636 cases.

State officials say efforts are still underway to find more rooms for patients, and their message of social distancing remains the same: stay home.

New Jersey will receive 300 ventilators from the national stockpile, Governor Phil Murphy announced after several conversations with President Donald Trump.

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"This is welcome news and we are grateful. And I thank the administration. But to be absolutely clear, this is far far from what we ultimately will need," said Murphy.

As state officials continue to look for more hospital beds and supplies, they begged people to stay home and limit contact with others.

"We got to set a bar in terms of our social distancing that no other state has ever set before," said Murphy.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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