TRENTON, NJ -- Following a visit to the state's third field medical station with 258 beds in the Atlantic City Convention Center, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Tuesday, the deadliest day for COVID-19 patients in New Jersey, that the state is beginning to see hospitalizations migrate in the state toward the Central and Southern regions.

"We had predicted that the spread of the virus would move from North to Central to South and had prepared and built out capacity to, God willing, stay one step ahead of that," Gov. Murphy said as he announced 3,643 new positive test results and 379 new deaths.

"We are announcing, with the heaviest of hearts, the highest single day number that we have hit," Gov. Murphy added. "These are not numbers, these are human beings, bringing our total cumulatively to 4,753 lost precious lives."

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The governor announced that the state has tested every veteran at the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home and will be doing the same for those living at Menlo Park and Vineland.

"Our veterans deserve nothing less," he said. "I went over to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which I always do when I'm in Wildwood, and said a prayer for all of our veterans, but especially those who have been impacted in our veterans homes by this awful virus."

The governor reported an emerging trend: the leveling of the rate of new cases.

"We have a significant, there's no question about it, flattening of the curve," Gov. Murphy said. "But that is not enough, and I wish it were, to go back to business as usual, not by a long shot.  We need to begin to see this curve finally to start its decline, and so we must keep our strong social distancing and policies in place for at least the next several weeks."

The state's cumulative total of COVID cases has now reached 92,387 -- second only to New York's figure. Hospitals reported that there are 7,594 residents currently hospitalized with COVID-19, of whom 1,930 require critical or intensive care. There are 1,501 ventilators currently in use, and our field medical stations are treating 72 patients, according to the governor. On a brighter note, for the 24 hours preceding 10:00 p.m. Monday, New Jersey hospitals reported 630 discharges.

"The number of patients in either critical or intensive care has been relatively stable over the past week, as has the number of ventilators in use," Gov. Murphy said. "Certainly, we want these numbers to decrease before we can move to our next phase, but not seeing any significant increases is a good starting point. Daily new hospitalizations continue to fluctuate, but hold below their recent high."

"This is an incredibly important metric, and it ties almost directly with the rate of spread. The fewer people who test positive, the fewer who need to go to the hospital, the fewer who are in intensive care, the fewer who need ventilators, please God, the fewer who we lose," the governor said.

"It's just really mathematical and cause and effect. While this is never abstract, these are human beings. These are precious lives. The fact of the matter is, the math is almost explicit when you look at the amount of infections," he added. "As I said yesterday, public health leads everything. Public Health creates economic health. Public health creates educational health. On those principles, I cannot and will not equivocate." 

"Our job collectively is to keep doing what we're doing to limit the number of infections, the number of hospitalizations, the number of intensive care unit beds, the number of ventilators, and please God, the number of fatalities. Keep at it, folks," he concluded. "It is working. You're doing an extraordinary job. We will get there together."

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