TRENTON, NJ — While New Jersey is starting to see the curve begin to flatten when it comes to the coronavirus spread, Gov. Phil Murphy urged all to continue to be diligent in following his stay at home orders and social distancing.
“While we are not anywhere close to being out of the woods yet,” said Murphy. “We are clearly on the right path to get there.”
Murphy said they are seeing “a decline in the growth rate of new cases” from 24% on March 30 to roughly 12% on Monday. He noted there may be days with spikes and dips, but “the overall curve is beginning to flatten.”
Citing a “data driven approach” to combating novel coronavirus, Murphy outlined the modeling and data analysis which his administration is using with “great and increasing confidence” in his Monday’s afternoon press conference from the Trenton War Memorial
”The best chance for staying out in front would be a data driven approach,” said Murphy, making decisions based on the data, not anecdotal evidence.
The modeling and data is utilized under the direction of Beth Noveck, Chief Innovation Officer and Judith Persichilli, Department of Health Commissioner.
Noveck noted that the “predictive modeling” includes data from the state’s online symptom tracker, hospitals and medical facilities reports to NJDOH, donations and availability of PPE, donations of medical professional volunteers’ time. They are also tapping professors from MIT, University of Berkeley, and Cal Tech. They run multiple models daily to understand the best-case and worst-case scenarios.
The height of the outbreak would likely come between April 19 and May 11, with anywhere from 86,000 with social distancing to 509,000 positive cases as worst-case, according to state health officials.
Murphy said the White House had granted his request for access to some of the beds on the USNS Comfort. He also announced that he signed Executive Order 109 to allow retired public employees to return to work to help the state without it impacting their pension status.
Murphy and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker will tour the second field medical station at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison on Wednesday. The Meadowlands field medical station in Secaucus officially opened on Monday.
The governor announced that the state logged 3,663 new positive cases, bringing the state’s total to 41,090, and 86 new deaths, to 1,003 deaths.
Murphy noted some of the recent passings including: Jersey City Councilman Michael Yun; former Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Colette Lamothe-Galette; Daisy Doronila, Nutley resident, and nurse at the Hudson County Correctional Center, and Susan Cicala, RN, who worked at Clara Maas Medical Center and Northern State Prison.
New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick J. Callahan reported that they continue to crack down on residents who violate Murphy’s executive order. In Newark, 26 summonses were issued for violations of the emergency orders and ordered four non-essential businesses closed in enforcement actions Sunday, April 5.
Ryan Sheftel, 46 of Rumson, was charged over the weekend with disorderly conduct and violating a borough ordinance by disturbing the peace in connection with the large party and porch concert on Saturday night.
Murphy showed a photo Callahan had sent him, of GI’s carrying mules, or jackasses, through a minefield during a war because the animal would “unwittingly meander through the minefield.”
“So to all the jackasses out there who we now have to carry to make sure they don’t make life worse for the rest of us,” said Murphy. “We know who you are, and we will not relent.”