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Number of coronavirus patients discharged from hospitals continues to increase, Murphy says

<p>Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) said the state will need federal funding to prevent large-scale layoffs.&nbsp;</p>

Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) said the state will need federal funding to prevent large-scale layoffs. 

Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) announced 3,915 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New Jersey and 132 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 85,301 cases and 4,202 deaths as of today, according to a tweet

As of 10 p.m. last night, there were 7,495 New Jerseyans hospitalized for COVID-19, with 1,091 patients in critical care and 849 in intensive care, according to the New Jersey Department of Health. Between Friday and Saturday, 780 patients were discharged. 

Yesterday, Murphy held a press conference to update the public on statewide initiatives to slow the spread of COVID-19. He showed graphs depicting the growth of confirmed cases as well as the growth of new hospitalizations, which he said are both becoming more stable.

He had an additional chart which showed the number of new hospitalizations compared to the number of people being discharged. 

“As you can see, over the past three weeks we have been able to move these lines closer together to the point (where) we’re now reporting more people leaving the hospital than entering,” Murphy said.

Murphy also provided an update on how fast the virus is spreading in each county. A map showed that in all counties, it takes more than 7 days for the number of COVID-19 cases to double. In some areas, especially in North Jersey where the outbreak began, the virus takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks to double, according to the map.

Murphy spoke to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) about federal aid for states and said some members of Congress are hesitant to provide additional funding. He said the state is looking into potential municipal bonds from the Federal Reserve, but said New Jersey could face historic layoffs if officials cannot secure federal funding.

“This is not ‘either-or.’ We need both direct financial assistance to states from a bill passed by Congress and signed by the president, and we will need bonding flexibility in either case,” Murphy said. “I would just plead with folks on both sides of the aisle to get to that reality sooner rather than later and make that happen.”

New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli spoke about the state’s efforts to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color. She said conditions in communities of color, such as economic stability, access to healthcare and environmental factors such as air pollution, can put additional health risks on people of color.

Persichilli said she, along with First Lady Tammy Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver (D-N.J.) and Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson, held a conference call with Sen. Ronald Rice (D-N.J.), Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-N.J.) and members of the New Jersey Medical Association (NJMA), an organization representing Black physicians and their patients.

Dr. Damali Campbell-Oparaji, president of the NJMA and assistant professor of professional practice at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, was joined by 11 other members and spoke to officials on how to address this disparity, Persichilli said.

Persichilli said the state representatives and members of the NJMA voiced concerns over access to telehealth services in urban environments, the difficulty of social distancing in heavily populated areas and called for more community clinic testing.

“We will continue to work with Sen. Rice and the New Jersey Medical Association to do everything in our power to reduce the disproportionate impact that (COVID-19) is having in communities of color,” Persichilli said. “We must ensure that all of our communities stay safe and healthy during these difficult times.” 

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