NEW JERSEY — Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday said that he is ordering over 120 National Guard troops to assist at long-term care facilities hard hit by the pandemic.

Long-term care facilities in New Jersey had reported 4,556 COVID-19 associated deaths and 24,874 cases at their 513 centers by Thursday, state figures show. The troops assisting long-term care facilities will serving in non-medical roles, Murphy said.

“These are non-clinical folks,” Murphy said during his daily COVID-19 briefing. “And we are not robbing from Peter to pay Paul.”

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Service members are being deployed first to the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center, state Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said. Last month, police found 17 bodies of patients from the nursing home piled up at a home in Sussex Township.

Persichilli said the National Guard soldiers will be providing assistance in the form of logistics, aid to nurses and also caring and comforting residents.

On Friday, 22 National Guard members will be deployed to the rehabilitation center in Andover, she said. “There are some there today, but I expect more there tomorrow,” Persichilli said.

Murphy reported 1,827 new positive COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total number across New Jersey to 133,635 people with 552 under investigation. State officials reported 254 more deaths by the coronavirus, bringing the death toll in New Jersey to 8,801. However, officials described a decline the speed at which cases are spreading.

“The map that we have been turning to continues to show slowing rates of spread throughout the state,” Murphy said.

He reported 325 new hospitalizations and 460 live patients discharged. Previous state reports had included deaths in the discharge figures.

To help boost staffing at hospitals, Persichilli said, the state Health Department granted waivers to allow nursing students the opportunity to serve at hospitals. The students, she said, will work in groups of four to six.

“Students who are a match to a facility will actually be hired and compensated by that facility,” Persichilli said.

Total COVID-19 cases by county are as follows:

  • Atlantic: 1,302
  • Bergen: 16,609
  • Burlington: 3,367
  • Camden: 4,479
  • Cape May: 401
  • Cumberland: 1,090
  • Essex: 15,095
  • Gloucester: 1,548
  • Hudson: 16,354
  • Hunterdon: 685
  • Mercer: 4,986
  • Middlesex: 13,411
  • Monmouth: 6,649
  • Morris: 5,702
  • Ocean: 7,209
  • Passaic: 14,133
  • Salem: 358
  • Somerset: 3,914
  • Sussex: 1,006
  • Union: 13,781
  • Warren: 1,004
  • Under Investigation: 552

Total COVID-19 deaths by county are as follows:

  • Atlantic: 62
  • Bergen: 1,319
  • Burlington: 185
  • Camden: 193
  • Cape May: 31
  • Cumberland: 25
  • Essex: 1,381
  • Gloucester: 66
  • Hudson: 923
  • Hunterdon: 43
  • Mercer: 313
  • Middlesex: 737
  • Monmouth: 428
  • Morris: 503
  • Ocean: 500
  • Passaic: 703
  • Salem: 18
  • Somerset: 320
  • Sussex: 123
  • Union: 829
  • Warren: 99

View the full briefing: 

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