TRENTON, NJ  – In an effort to ramp up New Jersey’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, coronavirus, Governor Phil Murphy declared a State of Emergency and a Public Health Emergency, effective immediately, on Monday.

The declaration, Murphy said in a statement, allows state agencies and departments to utilize state resources to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases.

According to the New Jersey Department of Health 45 people have been tested for coronavirus in New Jersey, as of Monday, with 35 of those coming back as negative, and 10 being presumed positive. An additional 24 New Jersey residents are currently under investigation as potentially being infected with the virus that has spread across the globe. On Sunday TAPinto Paterson reported that a man in his seventies had been admitted to St. Joseph’s Regional Hospital for treatment. 

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“The State of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource, across all levels of government, to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,” Murphy said. “My Administration will continue to work closely with our federal partners to ensure that local health agencies on the front lines of the state’s response are equipped with the resources needed to further prepare our healthcare system for a broader spread of COVID-19.”

Under the declaration State Director of Emergency Management and Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, Colonel Patrick Callahan will, in conjunction with New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, oversee the implementation of the State Emergency Operations plan and generally direct the State’s emergency response to the virus.

The declaration also triggers other executive powers and safeguards, such as prohibiting excessive price increases pursuant to New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and the ability to waive certain procurement procedures to expedite the delivery of goods and services necessary for coronavirus preparedness and response effort. State agencies, specifically the Departments of Banking and Insurance, Health, Human Services, and the Civil Service Commission are also empowered  to take all appropriate steps to address the public health hazard of COVID-19.

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