Coronavirus News: New Jersey hospitals returning to normal, get $1.7B in federal funding

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey hospitals are starting to transition from what's called "crisis standards of care" back to standard operations as many key measures in the fight against coronavirus trend downward, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Saturday.

"Crisis standards of care are situations where clinicians practice in extreme circumstances with scarce resources, like staffing, personal protective equipment and ventilators," Persichilli said. "As hospitalizations decrease and intensive care beds and medical surgical beds have capacity, our hospitals are returning to standard procedures."

As of 10 p.m. Friday night, hospitalizations were down to 5,713 patients, a drop by 1,000 in a week.

Persichilli said hospitals have treated almost 60,000 non-COVID-19 patients since April 1 and 90% of them returned home safely.

Additionally, Governor Phil Murphy announced that 53 New Jersey hospitals, which are among the hardest hit financially in the US, will receive $1.7 billion from the federal government.

"Many of our hospitals have taken quite simply a financial beating over the past two months," Murphy said. "We cannot afford to lose one hospital or frankly even one nurse or doctor from one hospital. This federal funding will certainly help our health care systems remain on a firm financial standing and we will work closely with them to understand how these funds are being used to advance access and treatment for residents."

Murphy said the money will be integral in keeping hospitals open and prepared for a possible second wave of COVID-19 cases as stay-at-home orders are lifted.

"Ensuring the health of our health care systems is critical to our getting ourselves on the road back. When we look at metrics we need to fall in line for us to restart and recover, the health of our hospitals is one of the most vital."

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