TRENTON, NJ - Hundreds of COVID-19 positive patients are leaving hospitals every day and the pace of new positive cases across the state is slowing, Governor Phil Murphy said at his daily press briefing Saturday.

Both of these statistics, he declared, are early signs that “we are beginning to beat the virus back.”

“If we all continue face covering, social distancing, and staying at home we will win this war.”

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Even with the positive trends that Murphy added showed "the curve is flattening," 7,618 New Jersey residents remain hospitalized, 1,746 of them in critical or intensive care and 1,650 on ventilators, he said.

Murphy would also provide updates including that an additional 3,599 New Jersey residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 251 “blessed souls” have been lost since Friday’s briefing. Included in the deceased, Murphy noted, were former Jersey City City Council member Viola Richardson, Monmouth County businessman John McCarthy, and Millburn’s Martin “Marty” Fox whom Murphy called a “passionate crusader for social justice.”

Pointing to the Easter holiday Murphy again urged residents to adhere to social distancing policies and stay at home orders that have been enacted in past weeks. "I plead with you," Murphy said, "it is not a day we can let up on social distancing."

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