TRENTON, NJ -- Gov. Phil Murphy announced at his daily press conference on Wednesday that there were 3,551 new positive test results in the state, pushing New Jersey's total to 95,865, which ranks second to only New York. The governor also reported 314 additional deaths, bringing the state total to over 5,000 now.

"With the heaviest of hearts, this does not get any easier... 5,063 of our fellow New Jerseyans have passed due to COVID-19 related complications," Gov. Murphy said.

As of 10:30 p.m. last night, there were 7,210 residents hospitalized for COVID-19, of whom 1,983 require either critical or intensive care. There are 1,570 ventilators in use, and field medical stations are treating 84 patients

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There was some good news, according to the governor. For the 24 hours preceding 10:00 p.m. last night, our hospitals recorded 745 discharges.

:We continue to see that the curve of new COVID-19 cases remains significantly flat But again, while we consider this a positive step in our fight, we're not even close to even considering claiming victory," he added. "We need this curve to meaningfully start to decline and to do so over a sustained period of time before we can begin considering the implementation of any sort of a reopening strategy."

The governor again insisted that the state must keep our strong social distancing policies in place. He said it will continue to be the case for the next several weeks, at least, and that the strategy is working.

"New hospitalizations dropped yesterday, but that just means we had good news for one day in a row. Let's hope it stays that way," the governor said. "We also need to see this number begin a sustained decrease. This is and will remain perhaps our most important measure of progress, as the rate of new hospitalizations has a direct correlation to the number of new positive test results."

The current COVID-19 positive cases total in Union County is 10,484 with 62 total in Fanwood, according to Mayor Colleen Mahr with no new deaths in the past day. Scotch Plains has reported 183 cases on its coronavirus website.

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