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Covid-19 State News

Latest coronavirus updates in New Jersey: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

NEW JERSEY — Below you will find the most up-to-date information on coronavirus news impacting New Jersey. You can find additional resources and coverage on our coronavirus page.

1 p.m.
Gov. Phil Murphy held a coronavirus briefing.

  • People are now required to wear a mask outdoors if social distancing is not possible.
  • “This is absolutely vital” when individuals find themselves in crowded situations, Murphy said.
  • “Requiring masks outdoors is a step I had hoped we would not have to take. By and large, New Jerseyans have been outstanding in their compliance,” Murphy said. “But, unfortunately, we’ve been seeing a backslide in compliance in New Jersey and across our nation.”
  • There are some exceptions to the new mask rule, including when people are clearly eating or drinking, people who have a medical condition that precludes them from wearing a mask and children under 2 years old.
  • “Wearing a face covering is not about politics. It’s about being sick or healthy. It’s about life and death. It’s about showing others that you care about their health,” the governor said.
  • Indoor dining will be allowed for restaurants that can open up 50% of wall space to the outdoors.  “That’s now going to be considered outdoor dining,” Murphy added.

On long lines at Motor Vehicle Commission centers

  • Reminder: Expiration dates for driver’s licenses, permits, non-driver IDs, commercial registrations, inspections, temporary tags have been extended since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in March.
  • To help reduce wait times, the state is exempting MVC personnel from work furloughs and centers will be open six days per week, including Mondays and Saturdays.
  • Murphy urged residents to check NJMVC.gov to see if a transaction can be done online before visiting an MVC center.
  • “I completely understand the frustration felt,” Murphy said, but added that the lines were not unexpected by the agency or state officials. “We have a backlog that is now months in the making.”
  • The governor also urged residents to not camp out at MVC centers overnight.

Health data

  • The rate of virus transmission is now 1.1, meaning that for every one new case another person will be infected. Health experts say a transmission rate below 1.0 is ideal.
  • The spot positivity rate for tests from July 6 was 3.23%.
  • “We have to have both a lower spot positivity rate and an rate of transmission below 1,” Murphy said.
  • There were 335 new cases confirmed on Tuesday, bringing the statewide cumulative total since March 4 to 174,039.
  • Of those sick, 935 people are hospitalized, 175 patients are in ICUs and 142 are on ventilators.
  • Another 53 lab-confirmed deaths were reported, pushing the death toll to 13,476.
  • The number of probable deaths still being investigated rose to 1,947.

‘Financial meltdown’

  • Murphy reiterated the need to secure funding to protect against an “imminent fiscal meltdown” by allowing the state to go to the bond markets for an emergency infusion of cash.
  • If bonding authority is not passed by lawmakers, funding for law enforcement, public education, public health workers, property tax relief for the middle class, tuition assistance, family support programs and programs for under-served communities will be cut, Murphy said.
  • “It is well past time to secure the funding that is threatening our ability to have in place the programs and safeguards our residents, and our communities, desperately need to recover from this emergency and get back to work. It’s time to post this bill for a vote,” the governor said.
  • “We cannot simply cut our way out of the budgetary hole we will fall into. I’ve already offered painful cuts and negotiated hundreds of millions of dollars in savings with our labor partners,” Murphy said. “This is a multi-billion-dollar hole – the level of cuts would set our state well back.”

6 a.m.
Residents camped out at NJ Motor Vehicle Commission offices overnight ahead of a second day of long lines.

Latest official numbers:
As of Wednesday morning, there are 173,878 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Jersey with 13,425 coronavirus fatalities.

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