Apr 20, 2020

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Coronavirus Briefing April 20

NJ Briefing April 20
RevBlogTranscriptsPress Conference TranscriptsNew Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Coronavirus Briefing April 20

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy held a coronavirus press conference today, April 20. Read the full transcript here.

 

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Governor Phil Murphy: (02:26)
Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for your patience today. Mondays are a little bit complicated as we typically have a video conference with the White House, which was I thought a good productive conversation, but it went on as they have been. Thanks for allowing us to be a few minutes late and we’ll be moving around a little bit our schedule this week, which I alluded to over the weekend. I’ll come back to that in a minute. With me today is the woman of my right, who needs no introduction, the Commissioner of Department of Health, Judy Persichilli. Judy, as always. To her right, Communicable Disease Service Medical Director in the Department of Health, again does not really need an introduction, Dr. Ed Lifshitz. Great to have you both with us. And to my left, another guy who does not need any introduction, the Superintendent of the State Police, Colonel Pat Callahan. Also, Jared Maples is with us, director of the Department of Homeland Security and Preparedness, deputy counsel, Paramellow Garg and to the rest of my colleagues.

Governor Phil Murphy: (03:25)
Judy will go into this in a little bit more detail, but before we get to the numbers, I want to announce that we have now added data from our longterm care facilities to our online data dashboard at covid19.nj.gov. It is a comprehensive list of every longterm care facility in our state that has reported a case of COVID 19 among its residents, both by name and location. I know Judy will be able to speak more to this data in her report, but we are now going to see to it rather than every facility is reported openly as we had promised. This added reporting continues our efforts to put up as much data as we can and I understand, which is a point of modest flattery, I have to say to our particularly Beth Noveck and Judy and their teams in terms of the Office of Innovation and Department of Health, I understand our information hub is being copied by other states and so we take pride that we here in New Jersey created a national model. Now, getting to the charts and trends as we see them. Let’s start with a statewide look at the spread of COVID 19 and it is slowing. Again, this is a heat map that we’ve been showing from over the past couple of weeks. It shows the rates by which the numbers of new cases are doubling and that they have significantly slowed or the numbers are gone up and that’s a good thing in this case. In areas of the state which just a few weeks ago would see the number of total cases double in a matter of days are now seeing those rates slow to where we can measure them in the numbers of weeks. And again, that’s really encouraging. You look at Bergen County where this all started at almost three weeks for doubling my county, Monmouth, 24 and a half days. We need to continue to see those numbers rise and that chart be as universally light as possible.

Governor Phil Murphy: (05:27)
Today, we are reporting 3,528 new confirmed test results, positive test results and the statewide total is now 88,806, as you can see. You could see from this chart our three week trend in reporting new cases and we have achieved relative stability. I say relative stability. This doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to see some days with one off spikes or drops and we must move away from looking at a snapshot data and instead looking at overall trend lines. Our hospitals are reporting 6,986 COVID 19 patients. Judy, I got that right, I believe, of whom 2018 are listed in critical or intensive care and 1,594 ventilators are in use. 74 patients are at one of our field medical stations. Judy in her remarks I know is going to touch on the fact that she was in Secaucus at one of our field medical stations this morning. And also the reality here, Judy, as she pointed out to me earlier, good news is hospitalizations down.

Governor Phil Murphy: (06:40)
Intensive care is a little peskier here and is not going down by as much or as quickly and that’s something obviously we look at very carefully. For the 24 hour reporting period, there have been 583 happily, folks who are discharged. Looking at this graph, we are seeing relative stability in the number of patients in critical or intensive care. Again, stability, whereas hospitalizations have begun to show more of a downward trend. Now, the two slides to come are the most important to us as we begin our planning for the next several weeks. They begin to give us our clearest indication of the path ahead. The number of newly hospitalized patients is moving, as I said, on a downward trend. This is one of our most important, positive indicators. It means that our healthcare system is in a better position to be able to get ahead and stay ahead.

Governor Phil Murphy: (07:35)
It means that our aggressive social distancing efforts are having their desired effects. These are real numbers. This is reality in our healthcare system. It means that as new cases are identified and as we take steps to ramp up and expand our testing regime, we will be in a better place to capture and contain COVID 19. While there is no doubt that the lack of either a federal plan or real federal support for tests and PPE, both of which by the way, are essential to robust testing. There’s no doubt that that is inhibited our testing efforts. The numbers on hospitalizations are a definitive measure. In other words, we could speculate all we want and we do a lot of it, in terms of modeling about what the denominator looks like. We try to get at that obviously through as aggressive testing as we possibly can.

Governor Phil Murphy: (08:30)
We’re the fourth highest tested state in America, but it still is not remotely close to what we need, particularly from the outset from the feds to get universal testing. We’re always debating and wargaming and modeling. What’s the actual denominator? There’s no war gaming here. These are facts. These are folks who are hospitalized. This data helps inform our decisions as we look toward a reopening strategy, as we look to prepare for a spike that will surely come when we do reopen and for a potential recurrence of this virus later this year. We must prepare for all those scenarios. We know that these types of viruses can mutate and come back worse for round two. This is about saving lives and we will continue to be data-driven in our effort to save lives and to prepare for what’s to come. We had a conversation, Judy, Pat and I and others this morning at the Rock about the H1N1 reality that Ed has spoken to and in fact, if anything, this is a much more lethal, a much more, you called it, much more efficient virus and we have to prepare for that.

Governor Phil Murphy: (09:38)
We have to make sure that we’re not getting dragged by that reality. And the number of discharges continues to outpace the numbers from intake. Please God, may it stay that way. These lines intersected for the first time last week and we can now see a trend emerging. Please, let’s hope it stays that way. This did not happen by accident. We planned, we worked and we collaborated. We worked with our hospitals and what the US Army Corps of Engineers to increase hospital bed capacity. In fact, Judy, Pat and I, among others will be in Atlantic City tomorrow morning, 9:30 is that right? To tour the Atlantic City Field Medical Station. We work tirelessly as did our healthcare providers, I might add, to get more ventilators and to adapt existing equipment. We are not by any means claiming victory, but we are making progress. I want to thank everyone in our administration, in the healthcare community and in the federal government who have joined together to get us this far and we have much further to go.

Governor Phil Murphy: (10:45)
As if we needed a reminder as to the gravity of the challenge still before us, sadly today we must report another 177 COVID 19 related deaths and the total number of lives lost now stands at 4,377. 177 precious lives lost. Among those we have lost was Ambassador Foday Mansaray of Franklin Township, Somerset County. Ambassador Mansaray was a representative of the International Human Rights Commission Relief Fund Trust and Deputy Foreign Minister and high representative to the United Nations. He was a strong advocate for his native Sierra Leone, and especially for our states and our region Sierra Leonean, and West African communities. He put his community before himself and was always thinking about how else he could help others. He is remembered by friends and colleagues as a kind and hard worker whose boundless energy and sense of humor spread to all who happened to be around him. To his wife, Patricia, with whom I spoke yesterday and their family, I extend our deepest condolences…

Governor Phil Murphy: (12:02)
And their family and I extend our deepest condolences and our entire West African community is in our thoughts and prayers.

Governor Phil Murphy: (12:10)
Bill Fechtmann, there he is, was a longtime resident and community member in Maywood. He was just shy of reaching his 95th birthday. Born in Jersey City, Bill enlisted in the Army in 1943 and throughout his three years of service quite literally traveled around the world. Returning home in 1946, he went back to his prior job at the Borton Company, and met Anna, who he would marry in 1948, and with whom he would share his life for the next 71 plus years. Bill and Anna settled in Maywood in 1950, which they would call home for 68 years, and he went back to school of the GI bill and got a degree in accounting. He would retire for good in 1990. Bill and Anna again lived in Maywood for 68 years.

Governor Phil Murphy: (13:02)
Bill was a life member of Maywood VFW post 7408 and served as its quartermaster. He was a member of the Maywood Pool Commission and helped organize the annual July 4th parade. Besides his beloved Anna, with whom again, I spoke yesterday and had that honor, he leaves four children, William Robert, Carol, and Jenna, and their families, which account for Bill and Anna’s 10 grandchildren, and so many nieces and nephews. May God bless him and each and every one of them. I’d like to remember Anna Gaffney, mother of a dear friend of both mine and Tammy’s amongst so many members of our team, Jerry [Genereau 00:01:41]. Anna was 81 when she passed away this weekend due to complications of COVID-19. Anna was born on the 4th of July as my mother in law was. In this case, 1938, in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico and came to the mainland US at the age of 13, settling in the Bronx where she would eventually meet her husband, Edward. The couple would eventually move to Sussex County where they raised six children before retiring to Ocean County. She was a successful business owner and a passionate advocate for those in need. And for [inaudible 00:14:13] friendship with Jerry, I know Anna passed these values on to her children. So to Jerry and her entire family, you are in my and Tammy’s and our entire teams and families, prayers.

Governor Phil Murphy: (14:28)
And finally today, we must note the passing of Ray Kenny, who went until his death Saturday, was serving as senior vice president and general manager rail operations at New Jersey Transit. We had hired, notwithstanding our great cooperation with New York during this entire crisis and during most times, we had stolen Ray from Long Island Railroad and thought we had a real coo at our hands a couple of years ago and in fact we did. He was a key member of our immediately working hard and making progress and restoring NJ Transit’s trains to where we know they can be and where we need them to be, and where they will be. He was a really good guy and we will miss him dearly. I spoke to his brother Ed on Saturday and he described Ray as the perfect Irish uncle. Always there for his nieces and nephews. God rest you Ray. This one, none of these are abstract. Each and every one of these are humans and lives of our precious New Jersey family, but this one cuts right to the bone. Ray was a great man. God bless you buddy.

Governor Phil Murphy: (15:34)
These are just four more of the tremendous people we have lost to COVID-19 and as we remember and mourn them, we must remember that we all have a role to play in losing fewer and fewer members of our extraordinary New Jersey family.

Governor Phil Murphy: (15:50)
I have not, we have not, made any decision over the past six weeks in a vacuum. My driving purpose, our driving purpose has been to save lives, period. Every step we have taken from closing our schools to closing non-essential businesses and work sites to requiring you all and us to wear a face covering at the supermarket and elsewhere, and everything else, has been made with a singular goal in mind and that is our mission to save lives.

Governor Phil Murphy: (16:22)
It may be inconvenient for some and we get that, but your inconvenience pales in comparison to the 4, 377 blessing souls who have now left us. My job, our collective job, is to protect the 9 million residents of our state as best as possible and for that, I will not apologize. In the coming days, I will announce the benchmarks we will need to see and the principles which we will follow to reopen our state and begin our re-emergence from this pandemic. However, do not think for one minute that we’re going to be able to flip a switch and return to life as we knew it. We will be careful and we will be strategic. We will continue to ask for you to play your parts and you’ve done an extraordinary job. That must be said. We will make decisions based on facts and medical science, so we do not experience or exacerbate a second boomerang wave. And as I mentioned earlier, that is a real possibility with a virus like this, even if we do everything exactly right.

Governor Phil Murphy: (17:29)
I know many of you are worried about the small businesses in your community, as am I. Reopening our economy today would backfire on us in two respects, a large spike in COVID-19 cases and no customers at our stores because people are still fearful for their health and that of their kids and families. So this is a two part scenario. Securing the public health situation so that you can have confidence as you get back, as we reopen our economy, right now that confidence does not exist and we will align ourselves with our region to ensure that as one of us begins to reopen, we don’t inadvertently expose each other to more cases of COVID-19. We are working in a coalition because New Jersey is not alone in this. We are drawing from our neighbors insights and experiences to make sure that New Jersey comes out of this and we will. Stronger and more secure.

Governor Phil Murphy: (18:29)
But to be clear, there is one overriding principle. Personal health creates economic health. Personal health creates economic health. It can’t be the other way around. Consumer confidence, the willingness of people to go out and shop, to eat out, and for workers to feel confident that their workplaces are secure, only comes when people are convinced that their health is secure. Let me say it again. Personal health creates economic health and it has to happen in that order.

Governor Phil Murphy: (19:06)
So on other topics, if I may. I had a good conversation this morning, private conversation with the president, expressing again my strong belief that we need direct cash assistance to states. The president indicated that it was his hope that that could be part of the next round of stimulus. We can’t wait another minute longer. We discussed the situation in New Jersey. In fact, he had been studying that, as I mentioned on many occasions. It’s one of the handful of states that he probably knows the best. We had a good, I thought folks, a good video call with the vice president and his team as well as most, if not all governors. Again, I reiterated direct cash assistance interpretation as liberal as possible in the applications of the CARES act money and the fact that we’re going to need a partnership with the federal government as it relates, both people, manpower, and technology, by the way, for testing, for contact tracing, for healthcare infrastructure as a general matter.

Governor Phil Murphy: (20:12)
I want to continue to give the Department of Veteran Affairs a shout out, beginning with secretary Robert Wilkie. Their teams have arrived to plus up staffing in both Menlo Park, in Paramus homes. Not a moment too soon, so I thank them again publicly.

Governor Phil Murphy: (20:29)
I participated, there is a daily telephonic prayer gathering which is hosted by my colleague Reverend Derrick Green. I was honored to participate with that group today and it was quite inspiring. Each morning at 8:00 AM.

Governor Phil Murphy: (20:44)
A lot of focus on Camden today. There was some press about cases rising in Camden. Trying to parse through whether or not that was partly due to an increase in testing being done there versus some trouble spots. Our team reached out to Mayor Frank Moran. Had a good exchange with freeholder Capelli. Spoke with Congress with Donald Norcross. That’s something we’ve been focused on throughout the day.

Governor Phil Murphy: (21:12)
Back to the money side, which we can’t ignore. The DGA under my leadership, put out a statement on Saturday night, again reiterating the fact that we need urgently direct cash assistance to states. I had a very good exchange with Senator Menendez. I’m very happy to see, and if you haven’t seen it already, it’s worth a read. He and Senator Cassidy from Louisiana, bipartisan by the way, Democrat or Republican, sponsoring co-sponsoring a bill for $500 billion directed toward, again, direct state cash assistance. That’s the amount that has been requested by the National Governor’s Association. I’m looking forward to speaking with Governor Hogan, who is its chair, later on this afternoon.

Governor Phil Murphy: (21:57)
I’m proud to report that the Office of Emergency Management, under the leadership of this man to my left, has now distributed more than 10 million pieces of personal protective equipment from the state stockpile that we’ve been able to put together. And over the past week alone, we moved nearly 5 million pieces, including nearly 900,000 N95 masks, 1.3 million surgical masks, and more than 2.6 million gloves, so to Colonel Callaghan and his team have been working hard to source every piece of PPE we possibly can find, congratulations and thank you.

Governor Phil Murphy: (22:36)
We have also recently received, and Pat you alluded to this the other day, an N95 mask decontamination unit from Battelle, which is currently being set up in Edison. Again, thanks to the prudent planning of our task force, we secured this item early. This will help us deal with the continued national challenges around PPE. This is another area in which we continue to punch above our weight in the face of national challenges. And on Saturday, the National Action Network distributed face coverings and prepackaged meals to residents at the NAN Tech World campus in Newark, many of whom needed both. To the Reverend Al Sharpton and pastor Steffie Bartley, dear friends, thank you for all you’re doing in the community. Pastor Bartley had sent me pictures literally as I was walking over or driving over here. Otherwise, I’d be flashing those up and you and I will hear from pastor Bartley as to why we didn’t get these pictures up, but I promise you they exist.

Governor Phil Murphy: (23:36)
On testing, the COVID19.nj.gov/testing page has been updated to reflect the 27 public and community based testing sites available across the state. And as I have noted, there are many more sites, which your primary care practitioner could direct you to if you meet the requirements for testing. All told, there are now 73 testing facilities in New Jersey. We were dealt a very tough hand as a country and as a state.

Governor Phil Murphy: (24:03)
… were dealt a very tough hand as a country and as a state as it relates to the federal testing materials, and we have pieced this together one step at a time to get to 73 different sites, fourth highest number of tests of any state in America. Not what we’re going to need to reopen by a long shot, but we have come a long way.

Governor Phil Murphy: (24:22)
We continue, as I mentioned, to work with our federal partners and the private sector to significantly ramp up our testing capabilities. We know that a solid testing regime, as I mentioned earlier, will be critical, essential in our reopening strategy. We are encouraged by the tremendous partnerships we have forged already with Rutgers University, with Abbott Labs to pick two good examples, on new testing systems, and with our private labs which continue to expand their processing capabilities. We also continue to ask for volunteers with medical experience to join our army against COVID-19. Specifically, we need respiratory therapists, Judy, physicians, nurses and paramedics. If you have experience in these positions, please visit covid19.nj.gov/volunteer, as you can see, to sign up. In doing so, you’ll be adding your name to the more than 22,000 healthcare workers who have volunteered with us.

Governor Phil Murphy: (25:23)
Finally, I want to acknowledge, before I turn things over to Judy, one of the best pieces of good news we have received throughout this entire emergency. Here is former Ridgewood High School lacrosse standout and Bates College D3 All-American, Jack Allard. That’s Jack with his sister and his mom and dad. Five weeks ago on March 13th, he didn’t feel well and he checked into JFK Medical Center in Edison, where he was confirmed positive for COVID-19. His condition deteriorated, and he was placed in a medically induced coma, put on a ventilator and was transferred to the hospital at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. It was a long month, but slowly Jack rebounded, and last Thursday he was clapped out by the doctors and nurses who saved his life as he walked out of the hospital. I had the great honor to speak with his mom, Jenny, and with Jack himself a short while ago.

Governor Phil Murphy: (26:23)
What a story. Let’s put this in perspective. Jack, as you can see, is as athletic as they come. He is only 26 years old, and yet we nearly lost him to COVID-19. Don’t think for one minute that just because you exercise that you’re immune. You’re not, and Jack is one of the extremely lucky ones. As I’ve noted earlier, there are 4,377 New Jerseyans who have not been as lucky, and some of them by the way had been Jack’s age or even younger. So when I hear about folks weighing the economic pain versus the physical potential pain they may suffer with themselves, their kids or their parents, when I hear about play dates that are going on unabated, folks, look at that guy. The picture of health. That is Jersey through and through, an extraordinary athlete is there are so many in this great state. We almost lost that blessed fellow.

Governor Phil Murphy: (27:26)
Folks, understand this is real. We’ll get out of this, I promise you, but we won’t get out of it with folks being casual about it. Now, overwhelmingly, you folks up and down the state had been doing just what you need to do. Please, God, keep doing it. To Jack Allard and his family, we share in your joy and triumph even as we mourn those we have lost. This pandemic has led us across the entire range of emotion, but for Ted today, for Jack and for the hundreds more who have left our hospitals, we are hopeful and optimistic, and I ask you to continue spreading your hope and optimism by sharing the good news in your community with every New Jersey through the social media hashtag, #NJThanksYou.

Governor Phil Murphy: (28:14)
Again, in a couple of days, I will lay out the blueprint for our way forward for opening our state, but we cannot get to that point if you stop doing the things you’re doing. This is no time to let up. If anything, it’s time to bear down as we’ve never ever done before. With that, please help me welcome the woman who needs no introduction, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli.

Judy Persichilli: (28:41)
Thank you, Governor. Good afternoon. Well, the state surveyors continue to visit our longterm care facilities to inspect and assess their compliance with state and federal regulations and guidelines. As of yesterday evening, 21 facilities were inspected with additional surveys planned this week. The survey teams are looking at infection control, staffing, availability of personal protective equipment and implementation of an outbreak response plan. For any facilities that have been identified and issued deficiency reports, they will be required to submit to the Department of Health directed plans of correction this week. As a result of our finding at Andover Subacute and Rehab Center, we are requiring them to hire a consultant, administrator, a consultant, director of nursing and infection control professional, and they are to cease all admissions. They must inform the department today of their progress and selection of these individuals, who must be approved by the Department of Health. As the governor mentioned, today we are posting a list of all facilities, their number of reported COVID cases and the number of reported deaths due to COVID-19. Repeatedly, we have reinforced their obligation to inform residents, staff, and families, however, we are still hearing concerns that that is not taking place. In the full interest of transparency, we are sharing the details.

Judy Persichilli: (30:33)
Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, issued new guidelines similar to New Jersey’s mandate to require longterm care facilities to notify its residents in their representatives of cases at their facilities. You may recall our first notice to them was on March 6th, and we reinforced that same notice on April 6th. CMS is also reinforcing an existing requirement in New Jersey that nursing homes must report communicable diseases, healthcare-associated infections and potential outbreaks to state and local health departments. That is already a New Jersey regulation. They will also require that these reports go directly to CMS. We remind all longterm care facilities and all other healthcare facilities that they should report suspect outbreaks immediately to their local health departments. This will enable the local health departments to assist facilities in assessing the outbreak and put proper infection control procedures in place.

Judy Persichilli: (31:46)
Now for today’s report, our hospital’s reported last night 6,986 hospitalizations, which includes COVID-19 positive patients and persons under investigation. This is a 5% decrease in the growth rate. There are now over 2,000 individuals in critical care. 1,592 of those individuals are on ventilators, or about 81-82%. Again, you may recall we were as high as 97%. A total of over 11,000 COVID-positive patients and persons under investigation have been discharged since March 31st. Our field medical sites continue to serve individuals who no longer need to be in the hospital. More than 200 individuals have been served at the Edison and Secaucus sites. Yesterday at the Atlantic City site, which we will be visiting tomorrow, a training took place for 80 medical personnel and other staff who will be working there, and we expect that site to start serving patients this week. I had the privilege this morning of visiting the alternate care site at the hotel in Secaucus.

Judy Persichilli: (33:05)
Today, they have 32 patients. Nine are COVID-positive health care workers, and 23 are COVID-positive patients who came from the Secaucus federal site or the Edison site. Many of the patients coming from the federal medical sites are medically and socially complex, and for many reasons cannot be supported in their homes. We have a patient who is blind and needs more assistance while she quarantines. We have several patients with complex chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma. We have patients with significant mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety, and very few social supports at home for them. Many of the individuals there do not speak English. They’re exhausted. Some are still feverish and have shortness of breath, and they are separated from their families and support networks, and the team there is providing them that support. Several were most recently staying in homeless shelters.

Judy Persichilli: (34:24)
The care team at this alternative care site is caring for everyone. They’re accepting new admissions daily, and the census continues to grow. This site is being led by Dr. Jeff Brenner and Kathy Stillo, who are on loan from United Healthcare. Cooper University Healthcare is sharing Rachel Adams to temporarily work as the chief nurse officer there. There is an APN, advanced practice nurse, that I met today, and along with Rachel I’m proud to say they are both Rutgers graduates. The staffing agency, Horizon Healthcare Staffing that came to us through the portal has been amazing to work with. The teamwork at this site has been extraordinary as they establish this innovative model of care for perhaps those who have been left behind.

Judy Persichilli: (35:19)
Today we’re reporting 3,528 new cases for a total of 88,806 cases in the state, and sadly, as the governor shared, 177 new deaths. Of the deaths that we are able to investigate, 43% are female, 57% are male. 50.5% are white, 21.8% are black, 16.6% are Hispanic, 5.7% Asian and 5.4% other. As reported previously, 60.7% have an underlying …

Judy Persichilli: (36:03)
[inaudible 00:00:00], 60.7% have an underlying cardiovascular condition, 39.3% diabetes mellitus, 30.2% other chronic diseases, 19.8% chronic lung disease, asthma, emphysema, COPD, 15.8% chronic renal disease, 15.8% … I’m sorry, 15.2% neurological disability, 13.7% other and 11% cancer. Additionally, 27.9% are associated with longterm care facility clusters or outbreaks. Overall, in our mortalities, 40% are associated with longterm care facilities.

Judy Persichilli: (36:54)
The VA homes at Menlo Park and Paramus still continue to be stressed. We continue to monitor them. On a call yesterday with the VA, they are sending individuals in to help both at the Paramus site, first and foremost, and also the Menlo Park site. The Menlo Park site reported between yesterday and today one additional death. The Paramus site has reported six additional deaths. We thank the VA for the support that they will be giving us over the next two weeks. According to data from this morning of the seven laboratories sending us COVID-19 results, 161,714 individuals have been tested. 72,463 have tested positive, with a positivity rate of 44.81%. In closing, thank you again for staying home and maintaining social distancing. It is making a difference. Stay connected, stay safe, stay healthy, stay doing your part in saving lives in New Jersey. Thank you.

Governor Phil Murphy: (38:12)
Judy, thank you for this and for all. Just a couple of quick followups. May I?

Judy Persichilli: (38:15)
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Governor Phil Murphy: (38:16)
Counties again, positive cases, it’s the same six that lead the pack. In order, Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Union, Passaic, Middlesex. Race, the race statistics are about where they’ve been. Again, concerned in particular about the African American number, which looks to be about 50% higher than the overall representation in our society in New Jersey. Veterans, while there are a couple of positive cases, one piece of good news continues to be a largely meaningfully better picture in [inaudible 00:38:53] and that continues to be the case. Is that fair?

Judy Persichilli: (38:58)
Yes.

Governor Phil Murphy: (38:58)
Yeah, and so Menlo Park and Paramus is in fact where the VA has come in to help us surge. And by the way they have said, God forbid we need a [inaudible 00:03:08], but they would also find a way to help us there if we needed it. [Mohan 00:03:12], correct me if I’m wrong, just get this out of the way before I forget, tomorrow we’re not only going to be in Atlantic City in the morning, I’m then going to tag on. I’m going to keep going South to look at some of the storm damage from last week, which means we’ll be here at 3:00 o’clock tomorrow. Is that correct? Okay. And then on Wednesday, to be determined, I know, but we are trying to coordinate with the Army Corp and look at some of the Northern facilities, not field stations, but places where they’ve reconfigured or reopened wings, et cetera. So that’s still a potential for Wednesday, which means it will be again 3:00 o’clock if that happens here as well.

Governor Phil Murphy: (39:56)
So forgive us for the next two days. We’re going to be a little bit later than normal. 3:00 PM tomorrow and 3:00 PM on Wednesday, but if that changes, Mohan will come back to us. With that, Pat Callahan, anything on PPE compliance, infrastructure, beds, other matters. Thank you.

Pat Callahan: (40:11)
Thanks Governor. Just for the weekend compliance report, a subject who had heard that they were going to open up a testing site at a local pharmacy went on Facebook and threatened to basically run people over. The part about this story that’s important is that people saw it on Facebook and did the right thing and called the police. They subpoenaed the IP address, went to the subject’s house where he did admit to making the posts, but indicated he did not have any intent to harm anybody.

Pat Callahan: (40:43)
Over four different events over the weekend in Patterson, 14 different individuals were cited with EO violations. Again, four more gatherings than we’d like to see, but again, generally overall compliance, pretty good. In Newark, 19 EO violations were issued along with three businesses being shut down. In South Brunswick, four subjects were cited for a burglary and EO violations. In Lambertville, a subject was cited for being in a closed state park. In Passaic, again, another large gathering where the owner of the home was cited for the EO violation.

Pat Callahan: (41:23)
Jersey City, another subject, actually seven subjects charged with being in a closed park. In Plainfield, a nonessential business was closed and in Northvale, a subject had been warned through previous times and yesterday was subsequently charged with EO violation and defiant trespass since she’d been warned two times previous. And lastly, there’s a subject charged with driving under the influence was also charged with the EO violation.

Pat Callahan: (41:54)
And just to echo, with regards to Atlantic City Convention Center, the staff that’s come in from the Department of Defense, as well as I think the commissioner’s shop in DOH, has hired 15 civilians to help support the Atlantic City medical station. About 28 of those staffers have also been shifted over to Salem medical center to support the caring for patients that we’ve shifted down from some of our Northern hospitals. They’re kind of splitting their duties and supporting us and being flexible, which is greatly appreciated. That’s all I got Gov.

Governor Phil Murphy: (42:30)
Thank you. Again let me use … I’m going to start with Sam. I don’t know who’s got the mic. [Martel 00:00:42:34], is that you? How are you? Martel I think has been here every day since we’ve started. We’d love to ask you to please consider three, maybe four, if they’re short-