TRENTON, NJ -- At his daily COVID-19 press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, along with the State Division of Consumer Affairs, has authorized the more than 18,000 licensed pharmacists to administer FDA approved or authorized COVID-19 tests to their customers in New Jersey. The tests to be given without a prescription and removes the requirement that pharmacists enter into explicit collaborative practice agreements with a physician.
"Across our state, there are more than 2,200 pharmacies, both chain, by the way, and independent. These pharmacies are run by professionals who have a deep well of trust and a strong connection with their broader communities," Murphy said. "These are the places where customers and residents may feel most comfortable to receive a COVID-19 test, in a place they trust, from a pharmacist they know."
He also announced the state health figures.
"We have 1,055 new positive COVID-19 cases, bringing our total to 149,013," Murphy said. "We’ve lost an additional 162 New Jerseyans to COVID-19, bringing our total of loss of life to 10,586."
"The curve continues to move in the right direction overall, and we must remain mindful that because of the way test results come in, we will continue to have up and down days, so these trend lines are our most accurate depiction of these numbers," the governor added.
At long-term care facilities, the total number of positive cases is 28,312, but the rate of new cases has decreased from its peak, the governor reported.
"We continue to throw everything but the kitchen sink, and maybe including that, at long-term care facilities to push this curve even lower," Murphy said.
There were 173 new COVID-19 hospitalizations yesterday, while 161 live patients left our hospitals, Murphy reported, adding that the number of patients in hospitals currently being treated decreased Monday to 3,481 and field medical stations reported 44 patients. Additionally, the number of patients reported in either critical or intensive care fell to 977.
"This is the first time that number has fallen below 1,000, in a long time. Ventilator use decreased by another 30 yesterday to 789, and I can't emphasize enough how important the hospitalization, ICU and ventilator numbers are to our thinking about the road back," Murphy said. "They are perhaps the most vital data points we received."
"These numbers aren't happening by accident, the governor said. "They're happening because you all out there have made them happen. The only surefire cure available right now for COVID-19 is to not get it. And that means maintaining social distancing, wearing a face covering of some sort, practicing safe hygiene."
Scotch Plains' total of COVID-19 cases is now 256. Fanwood's total number of positive cases has held steady since May 15 at 88, of whom 12 have died.
"Fanwood now has a total of 88 confirmed cases that have ranged in age from 21 to 100 years old. But our cases are leveling off," said Mayor Colleen Mahr. "Unfortunately, we now have a total of 12 individuals that have passed away from COVID-19, and I would ask that you keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers."
COVID-19 Positive Cases: 149,013
Atlantic: 1,838 • Bergen: 17,522 • Burlington: 4,000 • Camden: 5,644 • Cape May: 518 • Cumberland: 1,759 • Essex: 16,686 • Gloucester: 1,935 • Hudson: 17,621 • Hunterdon: 885 • Mercer: 6,018 • Middlesex: 14,834 • Monmouth: 7,470 • Morris: 6,100 • Ocean: 8,067 • Passaic: 15,371 • Salem: 470 • Somerset: 4,312 • Sussex: 1,063 • Union: 15,031 • Warren: 1,091 • Under Investigation: 778.
COVID-19 Deaths: 10,586
Atlantic: 121 • Bergen: 1,474 • Burlington: 247 • Camden: 279 • Cape May: 42 • Cumberland: 56 • Essex: 1,565 • Gloucester: 125 • Hudson: 1,082 • Hunterdon: 53 • Mercer: 422 • Middlesex: 903 • Monmouth: 520 • Morris: 572 • Ocean: 643 • Passaic: 842 • Salem: 21 • Somerset: 382 • Sussex: 139 • Union: 977 • Warren: 121.