NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey coronavirus news and information from March 2020.
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CORONAVIRUS NEW JERSEY MARCH UPDATES AND NEWS
MARCH 31, 2020
Communities join forces
East Orange, Orange, and Irvington joined forces with Newark MayorRasJ. Baraka to announce a series of new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. Starting Tuesday, the four municipalities will jointly enforce complete lockdowns on their communities for seven days.
Until then, non-essential and non-emergency travel is barred on the streets of these communities.Violators will face summonses and other legal action.
New testing sites
Camden, Middlesex and Ocean counties are opening or have opened new drive-thru COVID-19 testing facilities, Gov. Phil Murphy said.
The federal government sent a fourth shipment of personal protective equipment for health workers, Murphy said. The 260,000-piece shipment included gloves and masks.
Murphy has said the state needs ventilators and the protective equipment more than anything else.
High school baseball coach dies
A New Jersey community is mourning the loss of a 30-year-old baseball coach, one of the more than 260 COVID-19 related deaths in the state so far.
Ben Luderer was a teacher and varsity baseball coach with the Cliffside Park School District in Bergen County.
Passaic firefighter dies
Israel Tolentino, 33, died from complications from the COVID-19. He leaves behind his wife Maria and two children, daughter age 9 and son age 7. Tolentino has been a member of the Passaic Fire Department since 2018.
Belmar closes boardwalk
Belmar has closed its boardwalk after daily monitoring showed an increase in the number of people using it. The beaches will remain open.
MARCH 30, 2020
First military death
A New Jersey Army National Guardsman died on Saturday. The individual had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been hospitalized since March 21. The death is considered the first U.S. military service member death (active, reserve of Guard) from coronavirus.
8 dead at Wanaque nursing home
The Borough of Wanaque announced Monday that eight patients of the Lakeland Nursing Home on Fifth Avenue in Haskell have died from COVID-19 related complications.
They say many others, including staff members, are infected, and the facility has been placed on lockdown and will not accept additional patients or allow visitation.
Great Adventure delays opening
Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor have temporarily suspended operations and will open in mid-May, or as soon as possible thereafter, the company said. For guests with prepaid tickets and current 2020 Season Pass Holders, Great Adventure is making changes, which you can find on its website.
Union County Testing
The Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University has implemented a new "telehealth" procedure for persons seeking a coronavirus test. Union County residents as well as all first responders and health workers working in the county regardless of residence, can report symptoms and schedule testing by calling 908-373-5105.
MARCH 29, 2020
NJ Transit adjusts schedules due to coronavirus
On Monday, March 30, New Jersey Transit will be adjusting its weekday bus schedule based on lower ridership due to COVID-19. CLICK HERE for more details.
Hoboken parks to close
Mayor Ravinder Bhalla tweeted out Hoboken's decision to close all parks beginning Monday at 8 a.m.
More Ventilators Needed
Governor Murphy told ABC News' "This Week" that hospitals are getitng more equipment and are working to increase capacity, but they have a long way to go. "The big headline for us right now are ventilators. We had a very specific conversation with the White House last night about ventilators. That's our number one ask. It's our number one need. And that's the one that we are focused most on right now. We have a long way to go on the whole PPE front but we've made more progress in other areas than we have right now on ventilators. That's our big focus," he said.
MARCH 28, 2020
Cases top 11,000 in NJ
New Jersey is now reporting 11,124 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 2,289, Governor Phil Murphy said Saturday. The state is also reporting 32 new deaths since Friday, bringing the total deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus to 140.
President Trump says federally enforced quarantine in NY, NJ, CT 'not necessary'
President Trump said in a Tweet Saturday night that a federally enforced quarantine in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut is not necessary. Instead he asked the CDC to issue a strong Travel Advisory.
Large party broken up
Murphy also noted that Ewing Township Police recently broke up a "party with 47 people - including a DJ - crammed into a 550-square foot apartment. The organizer was charged, as they should have been and deserved to be."
Mortgage payments grace period
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said homeowners are getting a 90-day grace period on mortgage payments.
Testing sites for first responders
Several sites will only be open to first responders and healthcare workers who have shown symptoms of coronavirus in an effort to cut down on massive lines at testing sites.
MARCH 27, 2020
New Jersey schools will remain closed until at least April 17.
New testing sites
New Jersey announced the opening of two new testing sites in the state.
New coronavirus cases by county
New Jersey reported 27 new deaths from COVID-19 Friday. Here is the county-by-county breakdown of where those fatalities occurred: 7 Bergen, 4 Middlesex, 3 Somerset, 3 Monmouth, 3 Essex, 3 Ocean, 2 Morris, 1 Hudson, 1 Gloucester.
One death was associated with a long term care facility. 55 long-term care facilities in the state have at least one COVID-19 positive case.
And here is the county-by-county breakdown of the new cases reported on Friday: Atlantic 5, Bergen 265, Burlington 24, Camden 21, Cape May 1, Cumberland 5, Essex 181, Gloucester 7, Hudson 140, Hunterdon 11, Mercer 18, Middlesex 127, Monmouth 126, Morris 44, Ocean 81, Passaic 88, Salem 1, Somerset 34, Sussex 10, Union 48, Warren 6. The state is still gathering details on the remaining 739 new cases reported Friday.
Man cited for hosting wedding despite COVID-19 pandemic
A man in New Jersey was cited by police for hosting a wedding attended by approximately 40 people Thursday despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Lakewood policewas dispatched to a residence on Wayne Street for a report of a large gathering. The owner of the property, 39-year-old William Katzenstein, was issued a summons, and the gathering was disbanded.
Jersey City opening 2 testing sites Friday
Jersey City is opening two coronavirus testing sites, one drive-thru and one walk-up, on Friday. They will be located on either side of Jersey City to best accommodate residents. The city's two sites will send the tests the same vendor the state sites are using, which averages 72 hours to return results.
MARCH 26, 2020
NJ unemployment claims soar
Gov. Phil Murphy said 155,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits in New Jersey last week as the COVID-19 crisis exploded. That is 16 times the number that filed the week before, Murphy said. The governor has signed legislation expanding state's temporary disability insurance and family leave insurance programs to provide more workers with access to paid leave benefits during public health emergencies such as this one.
Two NJ testing sites will close to the public Saturday
Two of New Jersey's COVID-19 testing sites will be closed to the general public Saturday so that health care workers and first responders who are exhibiting signs of coronavirus can be tested. The testing sites at Bergen County Community College and the PNC Arts Center will be accepting symptomatic health care workers and first responders - police, fires and EMS workers - only. In addition, starting Sunday, March 29th, those sites will move to a new schedule. This new schedule will be posted on the state's reference site at covid19.nj.gov.
NJ Schools to remain closed until April 17 at earliest
Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey schools will remain closed until at least April 17. "I am aware that some districts on a separate matter have already begun advising families when they anticipate reopening," the governor said Thursday. "Let me be perfectly clear. That decision rests with yours truly. We will not be able to revisit the closure until at least April 17th. The decision will be based on careful discussion with our health experts and will be decided with the facts on the ground. We will not revisit this question until at least April 17."
Trump approves NJ disaster declaration
President Donald Trump has approved New Jersey's disaster declaration and ordered federal assistance. Federal funding is also available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all areas in the State of New Jersey impacted by COVID-19.
Drive-thru testing center opens in Newark
Essex County has opened an appointment-only drive-thru coronavirus testing site in Newark amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The site is for Essex County residents who are symptomatic and is located in Weequahic Park. The site opened Thursday and will also be open Saturday, March 28, when 100 tests per day will be administered. It will then be open next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, when 150 tests per day will be administered each day.
MARCH 25, 2020
Archdiocese of Newark gives new directives
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin says all wakes and funerals must be postponed until further notice and burials can only take place with the priest. Baptisms and weddings must also be postponed.
Additionally, all churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked until further notice and private prayer in any parish building must be discontinued.
The city of Newark has issued a shelter-in-place order that goes into effect at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Residents should only leave home for food, to see a doctor, get a prescription of if they are an essential employee.
Psychiatric facilities cases
Governor Murphy said he was closely monitoring the mental health population housed at psychiatric facilities. New Jersey has 1,400 patients at their four psychiatric facilities. 16 were tested after exhibiting respiratory symptoms, with one returning positive who is hospitalized. Murphy said the state has 4,800 hospital staff members taking care of those individuals. 13 of them were tested, with four returning positive. Three of those employees are home with moderate symptoms and one is hospitalized. All individuals that were determined to have contact or nexus with any of the individuals are in quarantine.
Closing child care centers
All NJ child care centers must close unless they are solely serving children of essential workers.
A hotline for New Jersey workers to report employers for making them come into work despite the COVID-19 emergency declaration got so many calls that it crashed the system, according to the governor. Murphy said that instead of the number, the state has set up a website form for workers to report any potential violations.
Murphy said the first of three field hospitals are expected to be built at Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus.
Expanding essential businesses
New Jersey Governor Murphy expanded the kinds of businesses that are permitted to operate while the state's COVID-19 emergency orders are in place. The list of businesses considered essential now includes: Mobile phone retail and repair shops; Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair; Livestock feed stores; Nurseries and garden centers; Farming equipment stores. The list also includes groceries and supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations.
Nursing home residents moving
All 94 residents from St. Joseph's nursing home in Woodbridge are being moved Wednesday by Morris County officials to a CareOne facility in Whippany, according to a statement on behalf of CareOne
Essex County drive-thru testing
Essex County will be opening a drive-through testing site for Essex County residents who are symptomatic of the coronavirus in Essex County Weequahic Park in Newark. The site will open on Thursday, March 26th and Saturday, March 28th when 100 tests per day will be administered. It will then be open next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday when 150 tests per day will be administered each day. The testing site is for Essex County residents; appointments are mandatory. Residents must arrive by car. Appointments will be scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can register for an appointment on https://www.essexcovid.org/
New testing center
Passaic County is opening its first testing center for county residents at William Paterson University. The center said county residents must have a doctor's referral for testing. The center will join two facilities for state residents: one in Holmdel in Monmouth County opened and another at Bergen Community College in Paramus. There are also centers for county residents at Kean University in Union County and Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus for Hudson County residents only.
NJ eyeing 4 field hospital locations
New Jersey State Police superintendent Col. Pat Callahan said that four field hospitals would be located at Atlantic City's convention center, Edison's convention center, the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus and another undetermined location. Murphy had said earlier that federal authorities had signed off on the field hospitals.
MARCH 24, 2020
Job portal launched
New Jersey has launched a new website to connect out-of-work residents with job opportunities in industries that are growing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nursing home could close
St. Joseph's Senior Home in Woodbridge has "a number of residents who have tested positive with COVID-19." The remaining residents will be moved to CareOne at Hanover in Whippany.
Health officials say about a dozen employees are home sick with influenza-like illnesses and there are a number of residents who have tested positive with COVID-19.
Metuchen athlete critically ill
A family in New Jersey is hoping their son comes out of critical condition after testing positive for the coronavirus. The family has been waiting for their 25-year-old son, Jack Allard, to be given life-saving drugs, but the test that showed he was positive was lost.
PSEG mask donation
PSEG announced it is donating 50,000 N95 respirator masks to one of New Jersey's largest health care systems to help the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
State assessments canceled
Gov. Phil Murphy announced he was granted a federal waiver to cancel statewide assessments for this spring. He said with students unable to attend school, it's not feasible to move forward with testing. This will not prevent students from meeting their graduation requirements.
Paterson parks close
The City of Paterson announced they will be taking additional precautionary measures to enforce social distancing by closing all city parks. Mayor Andre Sayegh said as of Wednesday, March 25, 2020 city parks will be closed until further notice.
3 police officers, 6 firefighters test positive for COVID-19 in Newark
Three police officers and six firefighters have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Newark, officials say. Currently, 39 police officers and 46 firefighters are quarantined, with seven officers and four firefighters awaiting test results. There are 70 police officers and 11 firefighters out with flu-like symptoms. Two firefighters have returned from quarantine and several police officers are expected to return over the next few days.
Coronavirus threat at food store
A man who allegedly coughed on a food store employee in Manalapan and told the woman that he had coronavirus was charged Tuesday, officials say.
Morris County inmate tests positive
A Morris County Correctional Facility inmate, who showed an elevation in body temperature, has tested positive for COVID-19, police officials say.
First ICE detainee tests positive
A 31-year-old Mexican national in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack has tested positive for COVID-19.
The individual has been quarantined and is receiving care, according to ICE in a statement.
Medical equipment coming, but more needed
New Jersey will soon receive a second shipment of sorely needed personal protective equipment or PPE from the national stockpile for front line medical personnel - an additional 200,000 plus N-95 masks, respirators and other gear. Murphy says more equipment is needed for hospitals and responders.
More testing sites opening
Passaic County will be opening a testing site on Wednesday at William Paterson University. This site is open ONLY to Passaic County residents and you must have a doctor's referral for testing.
Murphy warns non-essential employers
The governor says there are too many reports of non-retail businesses violating the order requiring 100% work-from-home with some limited exception. "Let me be clear: my Executive Order is not a polite suggestion. It is an order," Murphy said.
NJ releasing some inmates amid pandemic
New Jersey's Supreme Court has ordered that some county jail inmates be released in an effort to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.
Weddings go on, with social distancing
Anthony Johnson captured this moment in Jersey City.
Jersey City expanding services for homeless
Jersey City announced it is increasing humanitarian efforts to the most vulnerable by expanding lifesaving services for the homeless. Mayor Steven Fulop said those efforts include the reopening of free public showers, supplying meals and personal hygiene kits to support them, while also assisting the county to secure temporary housing for the homeless to self-quarantine.
Seaside Heights closes all beaches
Mayor Anthony Vaz announced Tuesday that effective immediately the Seaside Heights ocean and bay beaches are closed until further notice.
NJ first lady starts Pandemic Relief Fund
New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy announced the launch of the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. This new nonprofit organization will marshal resources across the state to identify critical needs and fight the economic and social impact of COVID-19 on New Jersey's vulnerable communities.
Testing site reaches capacity before opening
For a second straight day, the testing site at Bergen Community College has a mile-long line before dawn and reached capacity before even opening.
MARCH 23, 2020
Rutgers working on rapid COVID-19 test
Researchers at Rutgers University are working on a new rapid coronavirus test. Dr. David Alland is leading the team that is evaluating the new COVID-19 test that returns results in less than 45 minutes.
First fatality in Belleville
Belleville had its first fatality linked to coronavirus. Mayor Michael Melham extended his deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, whose identity is not being released at this time. There are 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belleville, with test results pending for four other residents.
Hoboken has four new COVID-19 cases
Hoboken Mayor Bhalla announced that four new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed: a female in her late 20s, a male in his early 30s, a male in his early 40s, and a male in his mid 60s. Hoboken now has a total of 25 positive cases of COVID-19.
Monmouth County has 207 positive cases of COVID-19
Monmouth County officials announced that, as of March 23, there are 207 positive cases of COVID-19 in the County.
"As we see these numbers climb, while anticipated, it reminds us why social distancing is so important," said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. "It is critical for everyone to practice social distancing so that we can slow the spread."
8,000 jobs available in NJ
Governor Murphy says 8,000 jobs are available in New Jersey to help serve on the front-lines during this crisis. The job listings are available at jobs.covid19.nj.gov.
Some inmates will be released
Low-level offenders will be released from county jails to prevent the spread of coronavirus within the corrections system. "This is a prudent measure and all efforts have been made to ensure public safety," Gov. Murphy said.
Elective surgeries on hold starting Friday
Governor Murphy signed an executive order suspending all elective surgeries or invasive procedures, both medical and dental, starting Friday, March 27.
Suez urges people not to flush wipes
Suez North America is urging all residents throughout its service territories to reject the label on so-called "flushable wipes" or other wipes and dispose of them in the garbage.
Officials say they are clogging sewer systems, and blockages caused by wipes force utility workers to remove them in confined places -- and many times this must be done by hand, which is dangerous and costly.
New testing centers opening
New Jersey residents will have a couple new testing centers open to them this week. The first site at Bergen Community College reached capacity again, this time before even opening on Monday.
MARCH 22, 2020
Governor vows action to enforce NJ stay-at-home order
Governor Murphy says "no gatherings of any kind" are allowed during the stay-at-home order. Murphy acknowledged the difficulty of enforcing such an order in every part of the state but said he wanted people to "stay home, period."
Hudson Count COVID-19 testing center to open at Hudson Regional Hospital
Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise announced that Hudson County would open a designated testing center for the COVID-19 Virus at Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus on Tuesday, March 24. More information about testing centers can be found here.
4 new deaths reported in the state
New Jersey's death toll from COVID-19 climbed to 20 with four new deaths reported. There are 1,914 confirmed cases in the Garden State.
2 Jersey City officers in serious condition, 16 in quarantine
Two Jersey City officers are in serious condition and 16 officers are in quarantine, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop announced Sunday.
Long line for testing
New Jersey's only testing site had a mile-long line before dawn on Sunday morning. Capacity was reached 30 minutes after opening. Sunday marked the third straight day people were turned away.
Residents under first day of "stay at home" order
All New Jersey residents must "stay at home" until further notice with some exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities. Read more about the New Jersey restrictions here.
MARCH 21, 2020
New restrictions in 3 Newark neighborhoods aim to stop spread of coronavirus
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced Saturday new restrictions in three neighborhoods aiming to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Additional changes in New Jersey
Gov. Murphy has announced the indefinite closure of libraries across the state as part of what he called "a commitment to aggressively expand social distancing measures statewide" amid the coronavirus outbreak. The order applies to all municipal, county, and state public libraries in addition to all libraries and computer labs at public and private colleges and universities.
Jersey City update
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Jersey City has doubled in the last 24 hours, Mayor Steven Fulop says. The city now has 50 confirmed cases, Fulop said via his Twitter account.
Paramus COVID-19 testing site reaches capacity, shuts down for Saturday
Paramus police officials announced the testing site at Bergen Community College has reached capacity and will be ceasing operation for Saturday.
Fleeing virus for resort homes, some find welcome mat yanked
Some city folk have been fleeing to their second homes in resort areas to ride out the coronavirus outbreak. But neighbors in many of those places are yanking the welcome mat, fearing infection and an overwhelming of already stretched resources and the governor urged people to stay away.
MARCH 20, 2020
Murphy calls for cash assistance from federal government
Governor Phil Murphy said that after a conference call with the governors of NY, CT, and PA, their four states will need cash assistance from the federal government in the amount of $100 billion.
NJ drive-thru testing site stops seeing new individuals
A new drive-thru coronavirus testing site opened in New Jersey Friday, and officials reported such an overwhelming response that they have stopped accepting new individuals for the day.
The testing site is first of its kind in the state and is located at Bergen Community College, and it will be open seven days per week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
TSA updates number of cases
The TSA now says 14 of its officers have tested positive for COVID-19, including four at New York area airports. There are three cases at John F. Kennedy International Airport and one at Newark Liberty International Airport.
New Jersey family devastated by coronavirus
Four members of one New Jersey family have died from the COVID-19: a mother and three of her adult children. 19 other family members have been tested, but they're waiting on results now after they were all at a family dinner together in the past several weeks.
MARCH 19, 2020
Murphy Administration Announces Waiver of Fees for COVID-19 Testing Services For Uninsured
To ensure that uninsured individuals have access to testing for COVID-19, the Murphy Administration today required hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to waive patient fees for testing. Murphy hopes the waiver prevents more New Jerseyans from being infected with COVID-19, and help identify those infected so they can get the care they need.
Bon Jovi helps out
Rocker Jon Bon Jovi is still feeding those in need during this time of crisis. The singer was caught on camera washing dishes at his Soul Kitchen in Red Bank. The nonprofit community restaurant is now take-out only, but still serving the community.
New cases in Hoboken
The mayor of Hoboken announced six new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday night, bringing the city's total to 13.
NJ Transit to adjust rail service
New Jersey Transit announced it will all rail service will operate on a weekend schedule starting Friday.
Township of North Bergen will pay part time employees during COVID-19 crisis
North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco and the Board of Commissioners are announcing that all Township part time employees will continue to be paid during the COVID-19 Crisis. The action is being taken so that affected employees such as crossing guards, recreation staff and many others will still be able to provide for their families.
Kohl's closing stores over COVID-19
Kohl's will be closing all of its stores temporarily at effective 7 p.m. local time on Thursday. The stores will be shuttered through at least April 1. Store associates will get two weeks of pay after the closure. The website and app will continue to operate, and purchases can be made there for home delivery.
NJ Transit requests bailout
NJ Transit has requested a $1.25 billion bailout due to the coronavirus pandemic. NJ Transit has seen a dramatic 88% reduction in system-wide ridership since Monday, March 9th.
Bergen County to open a testing site
Governor Phil Murphy announced that drive-through testing would begin in Bergen County on Friday at Bergen Community College.
Bergen County Sheriff's Office correction officer tests positive for COVID-19
A Bergen County Sheriff's Office Corrections Officer employed at the Bergen County Jail has tested positive for COVID-19. The test was declared presumptive positive on Wednesday by the New Jersey State Department of Health and has been sent to the Center for Disease Control for confirmation.
Bergen County rescinds executive order
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco Thursday rescinded his executive order declaring a state of emergency in the county at the request of Governor Phil Murphy. Revisions to the original executive order were sent to Governor Murphy's office for review. As a result of discussions with the Murphy administration, the order will not be implemented on Saturday March 20th at 8 a.m.
Grocery stores take steps to protect New Jersey's most vulnerable
This effort started at all grocery stores in Jersey City when Mayor Steven Fulop mandated that the first hour at grocery stores be dedicated to the vulnerable. Stop and Shop is joining other stores on Thursday, dedicating its first hour to seniors, expectant mothers, the disabled and those with compromised immune systems.
MARCH 18, 2020
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst announces first positive COVID-19 case
A dependent of a service member assigned to the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst tested positive for COVID-19, the joint base announced Wednesday. The individual is currently undergoing evaluation, treatment and is in isolation at an off-base residence.
New Jersey distillery making hand sanitizer during COVID-19 outbreak
A New Jersey distillery is switching gears amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, focusing its production efforts on the now hard-to-find hand sanitzer. At the Claremont Distillery in Fairfield, it's no longer about "bottoms up" these days. Rather, it's all about "hands out."
TSA confirms cases at JFK, Newark airports
The TSA on Wednesday confirmed that two Transportation Security Officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport and one at Newark Liberty International Airport have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. All three officers are receiving medical care and are quarantined at home. They work in checked baggage rooms, and their duties do not involve direct contact with travelers.
Most salons closed during COVID-19 pandemic
Many hair and nail salons throughout the Tri-State area are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Newark implements 8 p.m. mandatory curfew
Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced a further series of sweeping measures to address the threat of COVID-19 in the city, including a mandatory 8 p.m. curfew, the closing of non-essential businesses by 8 p.m. Wednesday until further notice and City Hall services offered to residents there by appointment only.
Deaths, cases rise statewide
Five people have now died of coronavirus in New Jersey, with total cases soaring to 427, Governor Phil Murphy announced. That's two new deaths since Tuesday, and 162 new positive cases in the Garden State. Both of the deaths were people over the age of 60 who had "comorbid conditions."
Hoboken cases rise
Coronavirus cases in Hoboken have increased to seven, which is up two from Tuesday. The new cases include a man in his early 30s and a female in her early 20s. Both people are expected to fully recover.
NY, NJ, CT and PA announce additional coordination to stop spread of COVID-19
Indoor portions of shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania must close by 8 p.m. Thursday, the states' four governors said.
Testing site coming to Bergen County; hospital reopening; call for more nurses
Bergen County, which has the most cases, will have a testing site open by Friday, and the priority will go to first responders and health-care workers. A Monmouth County site, in Holmdel Township, is coming next week. As the caseload continues to increase rapidly, the state is seeking more nurses to handle an increase in hospital beds, with Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury reopening as an acute-care center, adding 300 beds to the state total, and another 227 beds are expected to become available soon.
A call to flatten the curve
The spike in cases overnight was expected, Murphy said. He urged everyone in the state to do their part to help flatten the curve, or reduce the spread of the disease by self-isolating, to prevent increasing stress on the medical system. Murphy doesn't want large events "going underground" into people's homes, such as house parties, and police will be on watch for these kinds of violations.
Students across New Jersey stay home
Sudents across New Jersey are staying home Wednesday as statewide school closures go into effect in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Newark Archdiocese suspends all public masses
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, announced that all public celebrations of daily and Sunday Mass will be suspended until further notice, effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
New Jersey hospital inundated
Hudson Regional Hospital, about 5 minutes from New York in Secaucus, began offering drive-through testing by appointment on Tuesday, for people who call and are screened by a nurse. Patients must drive up a ramp to a second-floor entrance, where a hospital employee wearing protective gear performs the test.
Water main repairs underway after sparking concerns in Jersey City
Repair work is underway after back-to-back water main breaks caused problems for customers in Jersey City - and sparked concerns about sanitary conditions during the coronavirus outbreak.
Paterson schools distribute meals to students during COVID-19 crisis
At the end of the first day of the district's health-related closure, Superintendent of Schools Eileen F. Shafer reported that 5,744 meals were distributed at the 12 designated sites throughout the City of Paterson.
MARCH 17, 2020
Hoboken to self-isolate
Officials in Hoboken announced that residents should self-isolate in their homes as coronavirus continues to spread.
Mayor Ravinder Bhalla announced Tuesday the self-isolation policy, which aims to empty streets and sidewalks, is effective immediately, while essential businesses are permitted to stay open until 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Office of Emergency Management. The closure of non-essential businesses starts Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Businesses shut down turning communities into ghost towns
Most shop workers in Ridgewood, New Jersey had nothing to do on Tuesday.
Ridgewood Bootery opened on Tuesday, but it might be the last day for a spell. They were forced to cut staff a while ago. Other businesses are trying to stay open as they can, following CDC guidelines.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says unemployment claims are soaring.
"We saw a record number of unemployment insurance applications or so called UI applications throughout yesterday. So many in fact that the state system crashed," he said.
For residents who are out of work as a result of this emergency, help is available. Workers whose place of employment has closed or whose hours have been cut as a result of this emergency are in all likelihood eligible to receive either full or partial unemployment insurance benefits for however long they will be out of work or working fewer hours.
Indoor malls, amusement centers and amusement parks to close
Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the closure of indoor malls, amusement centers, and amusement parks in New Jersey effective 8 p.m. Tuesday.
The order will remain in effect until "the current emergency ends," Murphy said.
Restaurants within those malls, and also have their own entrances, may remain open for takeout and delivery only.
Also on Tuesday, Murphy announced another 89 positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 267.
Forget the Elephant
Airbnb canceled plans to offer a stay in Margate's Lucy the Elephant, a six-story National Historic Landmark near the ocean. The stays were set to begin Tuesday, but the outbreak has led to an indefinite halt, according to The Press of Atlantic City.
9:30 a.m. Bergen County postpones action on some COVID-19 restrictions
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announced Tuesday morning that some restrictions he planned to impose in order to slow the spread of coronavirus in the county will be postponed until Saturday at 8 a.m.
He said he hopes to provide additional clarity to the restrictions and also to make sure the county's actions are in conjunction with the state's efforts.
The rules the county wants to impose appear more restrictive than those announced by Governor Phil Murphy on Monday.
MARCH 16, 2020
3rd death in New Jersey
Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state's third coronavirus-related death in the state.
The individual was a male in his 90s who was being treated in Bergen County.
Another positive case in Hoboken
A fifth positive case of coronavirus was announced in Hoboken.
The case is a male in his late 20s who has self-isolated at home. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Mayor declares state of emergency in North Bergen
Mayor Nick Sacco has declared a Local State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic.
The declaration will allow Township government to bypass purchasing regulations if necessary.
In addition to the restrictions on the public announced by Governor Phil Murphy, Mayor Sacco is announcing the following:
Town Hall is open with limited access to the public. Residents are encouraged to conduct all matters via phone, email or online when possible.
All Township parks are closed off to the public.
The Recreation Center is closed.
The Senior Center is closed.
Senior citizen transportation is available to those with critical medical needs ONLY
All senior citizen shopping trips are cancelled until further notice
Township Board Meetings are cancelled, except Board of Commissioners Meetings
Child and Adult Day Care Centers are closed.
Updated numbers of positive cases
Governor Phil Murphy announced 80 new positive cases of coronavirus for a total of 178 in the state.
He also suggested that residents stay off the roads and stay home after 8 p.m. each night until 5 a.m. "Please, please, please just stay home," the governor pleaded.
Governor clarified that places that offer essential services like grocery stores, pharmacies and other health centers may remain open after 8 p.m.
He is also mobilizing the New Jersey National Guard.
"This is not fake news. This is real. If we're not accurate about this, it's on me. Stop believing folks who say this is not real," Murphy said. "It is not time for business as usual."
He also announced the state will be one of 12 testing sites by FEMA. Murphy asked President Trump and Vice President Pence for more supplies and personal protective equipment.
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announces public parks remain open for 'Passive Recreation'
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced today that the public may still access the State Parks, forests, recreation areas and Wildlife Management Areas, including roads, parking areas, trails, lakes and other open space areas for healthful passive recreation.
Alternatively, campgrounds, visitor centers, nature centers, restrooms and similar facilities at state parks, forests, recreation areas, Wildlife Management Areas and historic sites are closed until further notice in order to protect public health and safety as the state works to address COVID-19.
Murphy announces statewide school closures
Governor Phil Murphy posted a video message announcing that all pre-K through grade 12 schools -- public, private, and parochial -- and all colleges and universities will close effective Wednesday until it's deemed by health officials to be safe for in-person classes to resume.
He also announced the closure of all casinos, racetracks, theaters and gyms, as well as non-essential retail, recreational and entertainment businesses after 8 p.m. Monday.
He is banning gatherings of 50 or more, and all bars and restaurants are closed for eat-in services, also effective 8 p.m.
After 8 p.m. these establishments may open for takeout and delivery services only until further notice. These restrictions exist during daytime hours.
Additionally, all non-essential and non-emergency travel in New Jersey is "strongly discouraged" from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
"We want everyone to be home and not out," Murphy said.
The New Jersey State Police said this is not a travel ban or enforceable curfew. Murphy said officials are not concerned with people being out of their homes, they just don't want people to congregate.
Governors Murphy, Cuomo, Lamont unite efforts
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have all agreed to a set of shared restrictions designed to halt the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.
Governors Andrew Cuomo, Phil Murphy and Ned Lamont said adopting the same rules is imperative in preventing people from violating social conditions necessary to keep everyone safe.
As a result, there will be no gatherings larger than 50 people, and all bars, restaurants gyms, movie theaters and casinos will close for good at 8 p.m.
Restaurants will continue to offer take-out and delivery, and online gambling will continue in New Jersey.
"We have agreed to a set of rules, so don't even think about going to a neighboring state because there is a different set of conditions," Cuomo said. "I believe we are the only region in the country to do that."
NJ Assembly vote
New Jersey's Assembly is set to vote on more than two dozen bills aimed at confronting the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The Democrat-led chamber has scheduled committee and floor votes on Monday on 25 measures, including one that sets aside $20 million to the Education Department for cleaning schools and one that requires districts to offer meals or meal vouchers to students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals during school.
The Assembly is meeting despite the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising that groups of 50 or more not gather.
Additionally, the measures include bills that would:
- Give county officials more time to mail ballots for the primary election June 2.
- Let virtual or remote instruction meet the 180-day school year requirement.
- Extend by one month the filing deadline for income and business taxes.
- Create a Temporary Lost Wage Unemployment Program to allow people to claim pay they lost during the outbreak.
- Establish a COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution Fund and set aside $10 million.
- Authorize licensed health care facilities and laboratories to develop and administer coronavirus tests. It's unclear whether the Democratic-led state Senate will take up the bills. It's not scheduled to meet on Monday.
The voting session comes as Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said he was likely to announce the closure of the state's more than 600 school districts. Most of them had already closed. Ninety-eight people have tested positive for COVID-19, and two have died, according to state health officials.
6:30 a.m. Jersey City closing bars, gyms, nail salons, barbershops and more
Mayor Steven Fulop has announced Jersey City will be shutting down the following establishments beginning at noon on Monday: bars and nightclubs that do not serve food, movie theaters, performance centers, gyms, fitness centers, state-licensed cosmetology establishments, barber shops, day care centers, nail salons and non-urgent medical offices including, dental offices, physical therapy clinics and chiropractor offices.
Fulop said the move comes after the city recorded its fourth positive case of COVID-19 Sunday night.
MARCH 15, 2020
9:45 p.m. New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to close for two weeks
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton has announced that all New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission agency and road testing facilities will be closed effective immediately as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We anticipate re-opening in two weeks, on Monday, March 30, 2020.
All New Jersey schools will be ordered to close
All public and private schools will be ordered to close down to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Phil Murphy said Sunday. Details are scheduled to be announced Monday once a plan is reached with the state Department of Education.
Murphy made the announcement during a Sunday afternoon phone briefing with reporters.
He said more than 210,000 students rely on schools for their food while 259,000 students do not have a home setup to take classes online.
Most of New Jersey schools have already closed or announced they will close Monday.
Murphy confirms 39 new cases
New Jersey Governor Murphy reports 31 new positive tests for COVID-19 coronavirus. Murphy said the statewide total is now 98 confirmed cases.
The cases are now in 13 of 21 counties, infecting nine females and 22 males. Their ages range from 30 to 77.
Breakdown of new cases:
Rahway schools to close until end of March
Rahway schools to close until end of March.
Hackensack Meridian Health postponing non-urgent and non-emergency hospital/campus-based surgeries for two weeks
Hackensack Meridian Health announced that non-urgent and non-emergency hospital/campus-based surgeries and procedures will be postponed for two weeks. This new policy will be fully effective on Tuesday, March 17.
The hospital said in a statement that it will allow them to enact preparedness plans to create capacity and deliver high quality care during the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases.
Surgeries and procedures will continue to take place at their off-campus sites.
Health care worker tests positive
A health care worker at University Hospital has tested positive for COVID-19.
Officials say staff members and patients and their providers are being notified.
It is believed the case was "community acquired" on March 6 and the tests came back positive on Saturday.
The health care worker lives in Bergen County. Other details about the individual were not released.
First case in Newark
Officials held a news conference to announce the first positive case of COVID-19 in Newark.
The case is a male in his 50s who is self-quarantining. He is not showing symptoms.
Another case is under investigation, but it is not clear if that person is a Newark resident.
There are 11 positive cases in Essex County.
Officials say the numbers have doubled and they expect them to grow over the next few weeks.
More cases in Hoboken
The mayor of Hoboken announced to additional positive cases of COVID-19.
One case is a male in his 30s and the other is a male in his 40s. Both men are currently in self-isolation.
Teaneck officials announce emergency declaration
Officials in Teaneck announced an emergency declaration over the COVID-19 outbreak.
Officials said there are 18 cases of coronavirus -- the most of any municipality in the state.
Teaneck Township Manager Dean Kazinci said the order for Teaneck residents to self-quarantine is not mandatory, but is recommended as the virus continues to spread.
Jails suspend visits for 30 days
The New Jersey Department of Corrections said its suspending visits for the next 30 days as of Saturday evening. Commissioner Marcus Hicks said officials recognize that families are "a critical support to the population in our care" but ensuring the health and safety of inmates, residents, staff and the public were of paramount importance.
MARCH 14, 2020
Hoboken announces city-wide curfew
Hoboken Mayor Ravinder Bhalla announced a citywide curfew will be in effect starting Monday. The curfew also places major restrictions on bars and restaurants.
The curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m.- 5 a.m.starting on Monday, and until further notice.
Residents will be required to stay home, except for emergencies, or if needed at work by their employer.
As of 11 a.m. Sunday, bars that do not serve food will not be permitted to operate at all. All other bars and restaurants are no longer permitted to serve food within the establishment, and acan only sell takeout or delivery.
Governor Murphy announces second coronavirus death in New Jersey
A second person has died of coronavirus in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy reports.
The Governor said the person who died was a woman in her 50s who was being treated at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold.
Teaneck, New Jersey residents asked to self-quarantine
Mohammed Hameeduddinn, the mayor of Teaneck, New Jersey tells ABC News that he is requesting all residents to self-quarantine and only to leave their homes for food and medicine.
Hameeduddin said that his town is "ground zero" for the infections in the state. At the moment, Teaneck as 18 cases of COVID-19 but he believes people have been walking around with the virus for the past 4 weeks.
"Last week we closed municipal buildings, we closed the rec department, we closed all senior programs, we closed all public gatherings at parks, we closed schools. What is happening right now is that we are seeing people getting sick, showing up in our emergency rooms, and that number is climbing. The only way we can stop this is by assuming that everyone is a carrier," Hameeduddin said. "There is not enough testing to go around, there is no drive-up testing, and there is no vaccine. So this is what we are suggesting to help contain the virus."
Hameeduddin hopes to prevent a similar situation currently taking place in Italy, by requesting residents to self-quarantine.
Hoboken to close gyms, healthclubs, day care and movie theatres
Hoboken Mayor Ravinder Bhalla and the Office of Emergency Management have made the decision to close gyms, all health clubs, day cares, and movie theatres, efective March 14.
This is in addition to the closures of additional City facilities announced on Friday including City Hall (phone or email only), playgrounds, recreation centers, and ballfields. OEM has made attempts to contact all gyms and health clubs in Hoboken, some of which have already closed their facilities.
Mayor Bhalla recognizes that these decisions will cause an inconvenience for residents and alter day to day lives but the town is taking necessary precautionary measures according to recent predictions outlined by health experts that the spread of COVID-19 will likely get worse before it improves.
NJ updates numbers, announces cluster in Teaneck
There are now 69 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Jersey, officials said Saturday, with 19 new patients diagnosed in the past 24 hours.
At least 21 of the cases are in Teaneck.
Officials said they expect that number to rise dramatically as they start to receive an influx of test results.
31 Presumptive Positive Cases of COVID-19 Identified in Bergen County
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announced that there are 31 "presumptive positive" cases of COVID-19 identified in the County by the New Jersey Department of Health as of 12 p.m. today.
The municipalities with the "presumptive positive" cases are:
Fair Lawn: 3
Fort Lee: 1
Little Ferry: 1 (Patient Deceased)
2-week suspension of NJ municipal court sessions announced
The chief justice of New Jersey's court system has announced a two-week suspension of municipal court sessions to mitigate public exposure to the coronavirus.
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said Saturday that individuals scheduled to appear through March 27 before a municipal court to contest a traffic or parking ticket or for a minor local ordinance violation should await notice of a new court date.
Municipal courts will continue to handle some things such as applications for temporary restraining orders, hearings in which a defendant has been detained and matters that implicate public safety. Filings and payments will continue to be accepted except where a municipality has closed the municipal court building.
Rabner earlier announced an indefinite suspension in all new jury trials, criminal and civil, in New Jersey due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Newark announces school closures
Newark has announced that out of an abundance of caution amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is closing all public schools for two weeks.
The Central Office will also be closed, with a tentative date to reopen on March 30.
The Mayor of Newark signed an executive order that will extend the IRS state tax due date by 60 days, and also suspend water shut-offs and rental evictions.
NJ preparing to close schools statewide if necessary
Governor Phil Murphy also said that the state is preparing for closing schools statewide, though he stopped short of taking that step. He said it's a matter of when, not if, they close.
State Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet said some 354 districts, or roughly half, in the state have closed already.
Most are for teacher training, but a handful are because of confirmed or possible exposure to the corona virus.
Nine schools have had possible exposure to the virus, according to a department tally. Three have had closed because of the exposure to someone who had the virus, while one school district closed because a student had tested positive.
MARCH 13, 2020
American Dream megamall closes through end of March
The American Dream megamall in East Rutherford will shut down Monday to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The closure will also delay the long-awaited opening of retail shops, including Zara and H&M, and the world's first DreamWorks Animation Water Park, which were set to take place next Thursday.
There have not been any cases of coronavirus at American Dream, but the operators hope to curb the spread of the virus by shuttering the property through at least the end of March.
Murphy updates numbers, school closing plans
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced 21 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the state total to 50.
He also said he is working with school districts to come up with extended closure plans in case it becomes necessary to close all schools in the state.
But for some districts, he said that time is now.
Hoboken announces 1st COVID-19 case
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced the city has its first positive case of coronavirus, a man in his 40s who is presently in self-isolation at home.
The Hoboken Health Department has been in close contact with the individual, who is only experiencing mild symptoms and is expected to recover fully.
Officials are now developing a timeline of events, and individuals who may have been in contact with the patient are being notified and being recommended for self-quarantine.
Jersey City announces 1st COVID-19 case
Jersey City officials have announced their first presumptive positive case of COVID-19, a 41-year-old woman who lives in downtown Jersey City.
The patient was reportedly proactive when she felt symptoms and initiated testing with her private physician. The results then get transmitted to the city's Health Department Communicable Disease Reporting Surveillance System.
NJ lawmakers plan COVID-19 bills
New Jersey lawmakers have set votes on legislation aimed at helping residents deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Democrat-led Assembly and Senate also said they're changing their schedules next week.
The Assembly canceled committee hearings except for one that will be considering the coronavirus legislation. The full Assembly is also planning to vote on the legislation once it emerges from committee. The Senate is holding hearings on Monday, but said the meetings would be closed to the public.
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Republican Leader Jon Bramnick announced bipartisan legislation Thursday that includes measures to permit remote or virtual classroom learning to count toward the 180-day school year requirement. Other bills are aimed at ensuring that free and reduced lunches continue if schools are closed; requiring insurers to cover COVID-19 testing, setting aside funds for schools to reimburse for the cost of cleaning; and ensuring that no workers are fired as a result of being quarantined.
Ridership declines on NJ Transit
NJ Transit reports about 20% reduction in ridership this week on both bus and rail, according to a preliminary data review.
Customers who bought an NJ Transit monthly pass may be eligible for refunds
Archdiocese of Newark suspends services, closes schools
Archdiocese of Newark "suspended the public celebration of Mass for Saturday evening, March 14, and Sunday, March 15, 2020, after evaluating recommendations of state and health officials."
Archdiocese schools will be closed next week.
MARCH 12, 2020
Teaneck continues to monitor spread
Teaneck officials said they are continuing to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and announced the township has 8 positive cases.
The township has canceled all recreational activities at the Rodda Center, all scheduled court sessions in the Teaneck Municipal Court have been canceled, the Teaneck Library will be closed starting Friday and all non-essential meetings have been canceled.
Bergen County schools closing
Bergen County officials Thursday evening announced all 75 schools districts would move to at-home distance learning effective Friday at 3 p.m. until further notice. The schools have almost 170,000 school children and 16,000 teachers.
Hoboken public schools to close for 2 weeks
Due to the State of Emergency declared by the Hoboken Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Hoboken Public School District and the Hoboken Charter Schools (Elysian, HoLa, and Hoboken Charter) will close starting Monday, March 16 for a period of two weeks.
Jersey City announces curfew for establishments with liquor licenses
Mayor Steven Fulop is implementing a precautionary 10 p.m. curfew effective immediately for all Jersey City establishments carrying a liquor license in an effort to reduce large uncontrolled crowd turnout as a preventative measure to reduce exposing the public to the pandemic COVID-19.
Further measures outlined in the Executive Order include a requirement for all establishments with allowable public capacity greater than 25 people - such as restaurants, places of worship, and special event venues - to maintain a record of all individuals entering the establishment through a sign-in sheet with information to be used solely for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 by providing means of notification of potential exposure, if necessary.
"There is so much uncertainty around testing, who carries the virus, and how quickly it spreads so we want to be overly cautious until we have some answers," Fulop said. "The logic here is simple, if the conversation federally and at the state level is around closing schools, or what we would classify as controlled environments, in order to limit the spread of the virus, wouldn't logic lead us to make sure we are also thinking about large uncontrolled environments until we have more answers? We want to take the necessary steps."
Newark cancels St. Patrick's Day Parade
Newark has canceled its annual St. Patrick's Day Parade amid concerns of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, one day after organizers expressed hope the event would go off as planned.
The ceremonial green line had already been drawn for the 85th annual event, with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy advising people to avoid packed in events before and after the parade.
But in the end, city officials made the decision to avoid the large gathering of people.
Jersey City provides update on prevention
Mayor Steven Fulop said that they had set up a hotline, 201-547-5208, for people to call who are experiencing symptoms to get information on how to get tested or for more information. He also urged people to call their own doctor as well.
Jersey City also canceled all city-run events throughout the week, or events they had given out permits for. Fulop says after a week, they will reassess the situation. He added that they do not want people to come to City Hall.
Red Bank Regional High School becomes the first public school in the tri-state area to switch to an off-campus learning plan amid the coronavirus scare. A student at the school is related to a 27-year-old man who is confirmed to have COVID-19.
MARCH 11, 2020
Newark St. Patrick's Day Parade still a go despite virus concerns
Many organizations have canceled large gatherings because of concern over the spread of the novel coronavirus, but in Newark, officials say their St. Patrick's Day Parade will go on as planned.
The city signed off on moving forward, encouraging people to come while paying attention though to all the hygiene advice health departments are recommending.
Dozens of organizations have signed up for the parade, and organizers say that so far, no one has canceled.
Ivy League cancels all spring sports
The Ivy League announced on Wednesday that it is canceling all spring athletics practice and competition through the remainder of the academic year amid further developments in the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus.
The decision hits the lacrosse programs particularly hard, with four schools ranked in the Top 20 and three in the Top 5 (No. 2 Cornell, No. 3 Princeton, No. 5 Yale, No. 16 Penn).
Possible community spread cases in New Jersey
In a news conference, Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said four of the new cases are in Bergen County; two are in Middlesex County; two are in Monmouth County.
Three of the patients are female, while five are male. They range in age from 17 to 66 years old.
Judith Persichilli said officials are still investigating the contacts of those cases. However, she said two of the patients did not appear to have exposure to either a confirmed case, or traveled to an area that has community spread of the novel coronavirus.
Persichilli went on to define community spread as "person-to-person transmission without exposure to a confirmed case, or a nexus to an area where community spread is identified."
The health commissioner suggested that COVID-19 may be spreading among the community in New Jersey.
Fort Lee closes senior center as a precaution
The Richard and Catherine Nest Adult Activity Center (commonly known as the "Fort Lee Senior Citizen Center", located at 319 Main Street) will be temporarily closed for a period of 14 days, officials said.
This measure is strictly preemptive and is not in response to any presumptive or additional confirmed cases of individuals in the Borough of Fort Lee contracting COVID-19.
3 coronavirus cases in Teaneck, New Jersey
Officials in Teaneck, New Jersey say they have 3 presumptive positve cases. All three are men ages 70, 44 and 30. All of them are in the hospital.
MARCH 10, 2020
Rutgers University cancels classes
Rutgers University announced an early start to spring break for students. All classes are canceled starting March 12 through the end of spring break on March 22.
Starting Monday, March 23 through at least Friday, April 3, all course instruction will be delivered remotely and all face-to-face instruction is suspended.
First death in state reported
New Jersey officials announced the state's first death stemming from the coronavirus on Tuesday and said the number of cases climbed from 11 to 15.
Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the person who died was a 69-year-old hospitalized in Bergen County who had underlying medical conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, she said.
He had no travel outside of the United States but had had gone back and forth to New York state, where there are more than 150 cases. It is not yet known where exactly he traveled in New York.
Murphy waives fees for COVID-19 testing for some residents
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday the state will waive fees for COVID-19 testing for more than 2 million residents on certain health plans.
The waivers apply to residents with health insurance through their jobs with the state and public schools, as well as to those using the state's social safety net programs.
Murphy also urged the state's other health carriers covering people who get insurance their their jobs to follow suit. The state's biggest insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, has already said it would waive costs for medically necessary coronavirus tests.
Just over half of the state's residents have insurance through their employers, according to Jerrel Harvey, a spokesman for the governor.
Murphy's administration is set to give an update on the number of cases in the state later on Tuesday. Officials have reported there are 11 positive cases in New Jersey so far.
A state of emergency was declared in New Jersey on Monday to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
State of Emergency declared
Gov. Phil Murphy announced the public health emergency on Monday evening to help strengthen the state's preparedness.
Health officials in New Jersey had previously announced five more positive cases of coronavirus in the state on Monday, bringing the total to 11.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver stressed that the overall risk to the average New Jersey resident remains low.
She said New Jersey will continue to work with neighboring states and partner with the federal government throughout the response to the outbreak.
Oliver added that the best way residents can protect themselves from coronavirus is by practicing safe respiratory hygiene and to stay home.
MARCH 9, 2020
More NJ schools close
Trenton Public Schools is the latest school system to announce it will close this week.
School will be closed to students on Thursday and it will be closed to both students and staff on Friday.
State of Emergency declared in New Jersey
Governor Murphy's emergency declaration also empowers all state agencies, specifically the Departments of Banking and Insurance, Health, Human Services, and the Civil Service Commission to take all appropriate steps to address the public health hazard of COVID-19.
"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," said Murphy. "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 health care system for a broader spread of COVID-19."
Additionally, the declaration 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 efforts.
New coronavirus cases in New Jersey
1 . An 18-year-old from Clifton City, Passaic County. Onset of symptoms: March 6. Do not have gender, not hospitalized, possible individual was exposed to COVID-19 on March 2. Close contact with a known positive case in New York. New Jersey contacts are pending.
2. 48-year-old Berkeley Heights Township, Union County individual. Onset March 1. Individual is inpatient at Overlook Medical Center. Exposure was symptomatic friends who traveled from Milan. Friends tested negative for COVID-19 . The situation remains under investigation.
3. 27-year-old individual from Little Silver Borough, Monmouth County. Onset: February 29. Patient is not hospitalized. Exposure to COVID-19 came from Biogen conference that the person attended in Boston. Attended between Feb. 24 and Feb. 28. Reported that 170 attendees from that conference have tested presumptive positive. New Jersey contacts are pending.
4. 83-year-old from Hazlet Township, Monmouth County. Onset: March 3. Inpatient at Bayshore Medical Center. Exposure to COVID-19 unknown. New Jersey contacts are pending.
5. 30-year-old individual from Teaneck Township, Bergen County. Onset: March 3. Hospitalized at Holy Name Medical Center. Exposure to COVID-19 unknown.
Princeton U. restricts gatherings, offers remote classes
Princeton University said Monday it is restricting large gatherings and urging students to remain home after spring break and take classes online in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus.
President Christopher Eisgruber wrote in a letter to the university community that the measures are necessary even though the school currently has no confirmed cases.
Man hospitalized in NJ for COVID-19 speaks out about the virus
A New Jersey man's cousin is trying to get him transferred to Mount Sinai in New York for coronavirus treatment.
James Cai believes he contracted COVID-19 while attending a medical meeting at the Westin Hotel in Times Square.
He told ABC News that he was feeling sick a few days later and went to urgent care, but they didn't see anything and suggested a pulmonary embolism. He went to the emergency room and they did a chest CT and they found a small lesion on his lung. That led the hospital to request a presumptive coronavirus test, and it came up positive.
"The CDC never confirmed it, not even now," he said. Cai added that doctors are surprised by his condition.
He's currently being treated at Hackensack Hospital in New Jersey.
MARCH 8, 2020
NJ officials announce 2 more coronavirus cases; total now 6
New Jersey officials have announced two more presumptive positive tests for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of patients in the state to six.
Officials said Sunday that one male 70-year-old health care worker from Teaneck is in stable condition in a hospital intensive care unit. A 32-year-old man from West New York was also hospitalized but a condition report wasn't available.
Officials haven't been able to talk to either to find out their contacts and exposure. Samples from both have been sent to the federal Centers for
Health authorities said they are tracking 27 people in the state, one-third of them in Bergen County.
State Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli said "as you can see, from north to south, the coronavirus seems to be spreading." But Gov. Sheila Oliver stressed that the overall risk to the average New Jersey resident remains low.
MARCH 6, 2020
Facility probed where New Jersey COVID-19 patients visited
Two northern New Jersey residents who have tested positive for the new coronavirus went to the same health care facility before they were eventually hospitalized this week.
Officials in Bergen County say an investigation has begun to determine if workers or other patients at the facility were exposed.
One patient, a man in his early 30s, is hospitalized in Hackensack. The second, a woman from Englewood, was released from a hospital Thursday and is in isolation at home.
Two more cases were announced Friday. One is at Englewood Hospital in Bergen County and the other at Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital in Camden County.
Officials said Sunday that one male 70-year-old health care worker from Teaneck is in stable condition in a hospital intensive care unit. A 32-year-old man from West New York was also hospitalized but a condition report wasn't available.
Officials haven't been able to talk to either to find out their contacts and exposure.
Health authorities said they are tracking 27 people in the state, one-third of them in Bergen County.
State Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli said "as you can see, from north to south, the coronavirus seems to be spreading." But Gov. Sheila Oliver stressed that the overall risk to the average New Jersey resident remains low.
Officials did make more details available about the first COVID-19 case.
That patient is a 32-year-old man who is currently hospitalized in Bergen County and is stable, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said.
The individual, who works in New York City, developed symptoms on March 1 and sought medical care late on March 2 at an urgent care clinic in Bergen County.
He was then sent to Hackensack University Medical Center and was hospitalized on March 3. He is said to be resting comfortably and doing well.
Persichilli said the hospital placed the patient in an airborne isolation room, and the facility has continued infection control measures.
From the time he became symptomatic, the patient had limited close contact with other New Jersey residents outside of the health care setting, Persichilli said.
A New Jersey couple is also stuck on a cruise ship off the coast of California due to the coronavirus.
Karen and Harry Dever are among the thousands of people currently confined to the Grand Princess that's been circling the waters off the California Coast since Thursday.
The ship has been forbidden to dock in San Francisco amid evidence it was a breeding ground for a cluster of more than 10 cases and one death during its previous voyage.
ABC News sources confirm over 1,000 passengers aboard the ship are above the age of 70.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE