GOV. MURPHY PRESS CONFERENCE – Aug. 10
- Murphy announced mandatory baseline infection control criteria benchmarks that must be met by all long term care facilities and veteran’s homes to allow visiting to resume. The openings will be set in phases established on the facilities date of last outbreak and further times to the reopening of the state. The facilities must provide to the state a letter of attestation that they have a plan in place for the state required items which include being fully staffed and having extra staff available in case of sickness, having a stockpile of PPE, a communication plan set up with family members including the use of video communication for those not allowed in-person visitation, infection control services, and weekly staff testing. During a further stage of opening, indoor visitation will be allowed for COVID negative or recovered residents. Visitors must be screened and must wear masks and keep social distancing. Two visitors will be allowed at a time. In room visitation will be allowed for those living in a single, otherwise a visitation area must be set up. Visitors will be told to monitor themselves for 14 days afterward and told to contact the facility if they develop symptoms. Certain activities will be allowed by residents including limited communal dining, haircuts, limited outings, and other activities. It was warned that it will take time for facilities to set up all the requirements.
- A picture of young people crowded in line, not wearing masks over the weekend at a shore bar was shown from. Murphy named three bars – Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant, D’jais in Belmar, and Donavan’s Reef in Sea Brite as the locations of overcrowding. He also mentioned a house party in Howell with over 400 people.
- Murphy was not happy about the Executive Order that President Trump signed concerning the unemployment benefits and the payroll tax holiday. Murphy said the tax holiday does not benefit anyone because the taxes are still owed on April 15. And, there is no benefit for the unemployed. There was also no guidance given on the additional $400 unemployment benefit on how the state was going to pay their 25 percent share of this. “Let’s be clear about something. States are going broke and millions of Americans are unemployed. Yet the solution calls for states to create a new program we can’t afford to begin with and don’t know who to administer because of this uncertainty. I cannot sit here and say that New Jersey can afford to participate in this program. And the President’s actions do not provide one dime for state and local government who are on the front line responding to this pandemic.”
- The Rt (rate of transmission) is below 1 again at 0.98. This is a rolling 7-day average. Murphy said this doesn’t happen by chance, but by policy, enforcement, and behavior.
- The statewide positivity rate on tests taken on Aug. 6 is 1.62%. In North Jersey 1.37%, Central Jersey 1.39%, South Jersey 2.37%.
- The 4 deaths reported today happened on July 23 & 30, May 19, and April 21 and are reported now because they are lab confirmed.
- Hopes of high school sports happening? He holds out optimism because high school sports stay in-state and the statewide numbers (spot positivity and Rt) are good.
- A reporter mentioned pictures of the New Jersey National Guard that were sent to the Governor that showed indoor dining, soldiers in classrooms without masks, and soldiers living four to a tent. The reporter was told by a soldier that they were not tested before dispersing to their own communities. Murphy said he was not aware of this.
- LOCAL LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES WITH CHANGES: Advanced Subacute +1 resident case (83) and +1 resident death (30); Merion Gardens +1 resident case (1) and +1 staff case (1).