May 13, 2020
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy Coronavirus Briefing Transcript May 13
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy held a coronavirus press conference today, May 13. Murphy said drive-in movies & religious services in cars are permitted under N.J. coronavirus lockdown rules. He’s also allowing allowing nonessential businesses to reopen for curbside pickup. Read the full transcript of his speech here.
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Governor Phil Murphy: (00:00)
Made one for the first lady, so another reason we’re happy to be in the capital city.
Governor Phil Murphy: (00:07)
Good afternoon, everybody. I’m joined by the woman to my right, who needs no introduction, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli. To her right, the Department of Health, Communicable Disease Service Medical Director, another guy, you know well, Doctor Ed Lifshitz.
Governor Phil Murphy: (00:20)
Great to have you both here. To my left, another person who needs no introduction, the superintendent of state police, Colonel Pat Callahan. Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Jared Maples is with us and I’m sure we’ll have a chief counsel, Matt Platkin with us shortly.
Governor Phil Murphy: (00:38)
So today we are taking the next steps down New Jersey’s road back and each step that eases us down this road is being taken because public health, medical experts and the data tell us that it is now safe to do so.
Governor Phil Murphy: (00:54)
So this is how we transition to a safe, smart, and sustainable way of life. We make this decision based on what can be safely opened and operated and we are sequencing our decisions so we can learn from them and apply these lessons as we move ahead. We want to be quick, but we have got to be right.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:16)
So today I am pleased to announce that I am signing an executive order allowing for the restart of nonessential construction across New Jersey, allowing nonessential retail stores to reopen for online or phone ordering and curbside pickup and clearly stating that drive through and drive in events will now be permissible under social distancing guidelines.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:45)
With the first two of these steps, the resumption of nonessential construction and curbside pickup for non essential retail stores, both effective at 6:00 AM this coming Monday, we are beginning the careful process of restarting our economy and getting our state on the road back.
Governor Phil Murphy: (02:03)
We’re able to take these steps for several important reasons. The data shows us that we are ready for this step. As I noted yesterday, all the important metrics that we needed to see fall into place have been doing. Let’s bring them back up if we can. And again, I would point you to the top four rows here because that’s hard data and this has been updated, so this is as of yesterday.
Governor Phil Murphy: (02:29)
New hospitalizations are down two-thirds from the peak. Total hospitalizations are done nearly half since the peak. The numbers of patients in ICU and on ventilators are both down significantly. Positive cases, again, this is where it gets a little bit, what’s the definition of a denominator, but it’s still worth noting, are down 70% and deaths have decreased by more than one-third from the peak; each one of these, a blessing loss of life, but the numbers at least thank God are headed in the right direction.
Governor Phil Murphy: (03:04)
Let’s not forget where we were only six weeks ago on April 6, when we first shared our worst case projections. We were preparing Judy, it’s hard to almost believe this now, for upwards of 36,000 hospitalizations, with 9,000 New Jerseyans in ICU and 7,500 of them connected to ventilators. But because of your hard work everybody, that never really came close. And as we have said, many times here, and we mean it, data determines dates and the data where you’re seeing gives us confidence that we can begin the careful and responsible restart of our economy to get people back to work and to begin to set the stage for the steps to come.
Governor Phil Murphy: (03:50)
Second, we are taking these steps because we are confident we can maintain the standards of social distancing that have been so important in meeting our data benchmarks. In other words, we have got to continue the progress that we have made.
Governor Phil Murphy: (04:04)
This slide bears this out. While we are not out of the woods yet, when compared with other states, we see that New Jersey still bears a significant burden from COVID-19. So keep up with the social distancing. It is essential as we move forward. Stay on this if you could [Mahan 00:00:04:21].
Governor Phil Murphy: (04:22)
Again, we showed you this yesterday. This has also been updated as of yesterday, May 12th. If you look at new positive cases per 100,000 persons, patients in hospitals per 100,000, and deaths per 100,000, we are without question in the poll position of the American States and that’s not a position that we are thrilled to be in, but it is a reality. It reflects the density. It reflects overwhelmingly the part that we are part of the New York City metro reality, as it relates to this pandemic and it also tells us that while we’ve made enormous progress, we’re still not in the end zone. So we take the steps we’re taking. We hope with responsibility at each, each step and also with the knowledge that we have to continue to monitor every one of the steps that we’re taking.
Governor Phil Murphy: (05:19)
At our construction sites. We know that work can resume with sensible safeguards in place to prevent overcrowding at the job site, requiring the use of face coverings, to prohibit nonessential essential visitors from the site, to stagger work hours and breaks to limit the number of workers at one time, and to ensure proper sanitation among other steps, which we will require. All safety protocols must be clearly posted at the job site so workers will know that their health and safety is priority number one.
Governor Phil Murphy: (05:53)
At our non-essential retail stores, we are explicitly permitting curbside pickup. We could get small businesses back up and running in a manner that continues to protect both workers and shoppers. To be clear, no customers will be allowed back into not essential retail stores at this time. They will have to continue placing orders in advance. Lots of people, let’s go back to that one for one sec. Lots of people reached out on this, but I want to give a shout out to Mayor Janet Hoven of Chester Borough, who was, I think of all the folks who have reached out and there were many, was really articulate and responsible about making the case, so I want to give the mayor a shout out.
Governor Phil Murphy: (06:37)
We are stating the gatherings of vehicles such as drive-in movies or religious services are not a violation of my order prohibiting mass gatherings, so long as all participants remain in their cars. If vehicles are closer than six feet apart than all windows, sunroofs or convertible tops must remain closed, unless the safety of the occupants is endangered. I must reiterate, however, in other cases, the ban on gatherings still applies and that residents should stay at home as much as possible.
Governor Phil Murphy: (07:15)
By the way, you may ask me because we’re basically saying we’re acknowledging that gatherings in fact are okay in vehicles, when is that effective? By definition effective immediately. We were able to take these steps today because the work you have done over the past eight weeks has created the conditions that make these steps possible. Millions of you literally have taken social distancing to heart and made it part of your daily routines and we can increase our stride because we are confident that the expanded and accessible testing program we outlined yesterday, as well as the robust contact tracing program we are implementing, will help us proactively catch and contain future cases of COVID-19 and prevent please God, a second mass outbreak. Remember public health determines or creates economic health and data determines dates and that’s the order of events.
Governor Phil Murphy: (08:17)
The data has allowed us to determine that the date to start our recovery, however, cautiously, at least the next steps is today. And we have confidence that as we take these steps, we will keep the public’s health as our top priority.
Governor Phil Murphy: (08:32)
Over the coming days, we will be able to take more steps. For example, we’re currently working, and Judy’s leading this, with doctors and hospitals, on a responsible plan to reopen facilities for elective surgeries, which I hope we can announce by weeks end. As we take these steps, we ask for your continued patience. We’re moving slowly and deliberately because any misstep risks further outbreaks. It’s as basic as this. When public health tells us it is safe to remove a restriction, we’ll remove it. I promise you. But not a moment before and I hope not a moment after. Again, we want to be quick but we have to be right and again, there is no light switch we can flip. We can only slowly raise that dimmer.
Governor Phil Murphy: (09:22)
The success we’ve had flattening the curve gives us confidence that we’ll be able to announce the end of more restrictions in the days and weeks ahead. So stay tuned. Before we go to the numbers, I was quite struck by Doctor Fauci yesterday, Judy, by Doctor Redfield. We haven’t said this in a while, but if we transpose public health and economic health, or if we jumped the gun, it is quite clear experts from all persuasions in New Jersey, like the two experts to my right in the United States and in the world, will tell you that you risk re-igniting this fire. We’ve also said, even if we bat a thousand and we get everything right, this is the sort of virus that could well come back at us.
Governor Phil Murphy: (10:09)
So we’ve got to be prepared to both be incremental and the steps we’re taking. There’s not going to be one day where we say, “Hey, we’re open for business across the board,” but we also will need to rely on that very infrastructure that Judy and I outlined yesterday. That the robust scaled up testing, the robust contact tracing, so that if we see any flare up, we have a plan that you believe in, that we believe in, that can quickly snuff that out, track it down and isolate it and that’s the sort of reality we’re going to be in, my guess for months, at least. I hope it’s sooner than later. We can all sort of say, “Hey, we made it,” but this is going to be something that I believe and I think we all believe is an incremental one step at a time reality. Let’s with that, let’s turn to the overnight numbers. Yesterday, we received an additional 1,028 positive test results. Current statewide, total 141,560. Here are the trend lines that you’ve helped create folks through social distancing and as we see the daily positivity or spot positivity rate continues to flow downward for tests for May 9th, the rate was 22%. Do you have that or not? Do you have spot? I can’t tell if you’ve got it?
Governor Phil Murphy: (11:31)
In any event, spot positivity, Judy, 22%. That’s a very good sign that continues in the right direction. Here are the daily spot positivity rates across each region of the state. Again, this is a much better way for us to look at our testing numbers, associating positive cases to that single day, the sample was collected than number we announced, which often batches results from multiple days and could skew our vision for what we’re actually seeing on the ground. The map that we have been regularly turning to keeps showing slower rates of spread across the state and that’s a very good thing. In our hospitals, the number of patients currently being treated for COVID-19 is 4,226 and the overall trend line still shows and reflects our steady progress. This is a breakdown of that very same number across regions and here are the total hospitalizations for every 100,000 residents. Again, across regions to give a more balanced picture.
Governor Phil Murphy: (12:33)
Our field medical stations, again, reported 34 patients. Looking at our longterm care facilities, which continues to be the tragedy within the tragedy here. You’ve got 26,763 positive cases and then if you flip over, you’ve got the loss of life of 5,016 blessed souls and we are hopeful that we may be seeing the leveling off of these numbers, please God, as they have slowed and then hopefully get down the curve as fast as possible.
Governor Phil Murphy: (13:04)
The number of patients reported in either critical or intensive care fell to 1,226. So it’s now back to below Sunday’s number. Ventilator use also dropped to 928. This represents our fourth consecutive day that ventilator use has been under a thousand. There were 600, sorry, 364 new COVID-19 hospitalizations yesterday but the number of live discharges went up considerably as well to 382.
Governor Phil Murphy: (13:33)
Here are the numbers from yesterday, broken down by region and we have said, and Judy predicted this as did Ed and Christina, that this virus would migrate North Central to South, which it largely has, but you can see just looking at these numbers, we’re not out of the woods. That’s 168 people in the North, in the North region, who went into a hospital in the past 24 hours for COVID-19. So again, I’m all for getting this place wide open and I’m all for the new normal but that’s a reality folks and we cannot escape that.
Governor Phil Murphy: (14:12)
Again, I can’t stress enough. These trends are not withstanding what I just said, are going in the right direction. It is your doing, folks. You are the ones who have pushed these numbers and these lines downward through social distancing and as we begin our long road back, we will need to keep it up to keep seeing these lines move downward and that will give us even more confidence for the steps yet to come.
Governor Phil Murphy: (14:36)
However, sadly we know there are those who will not join us for our road back and today we report another 197, blessed lost souls from COVID-19 complications in our New Jersey family. Our statewide total now stands at 9,702 lives lost.
Governor Phil Murphy: (14:58)
Allow me a minute to tell you the story of a few of those lives. First, we remember Catherine Coughlin, known by everyone as simply Cathy. She was 70 years old when COVID-19 took her. Born and raised in Astoria, in New York City, Cathy would call Glen Ridge home for the majority of her life. For more than 15 years, she was a bookkeeper and office manager for Harvard Printing Press in nearby Orange. But most of all, Cathy was a devoted daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend and today only a handful are able to say their goodbye to her. So our remembrance takes on special meaning for those who cannot be together. Her family will remember her as the person who made friends with whomever was sitting nearby. The person who joined the daily hymning at her home at the Atrium of Wayne and the person who took games of bingo, maybe a little bit too seriously. Above all else, she loved to talk with people. She’d never met a stranger. Her family says she could turn a quick trip to the Bloomfield ShopRite into an hour’s long affair.
Governor Phil Murphy: (16:10)
I believe she’s Irish, Callahan, stopping to chat with everyone she ran into. Neighbors, friends, ShopRite employees. It did not matter. Cathy was loved by many, including her son, Andrew, with whom I had the great honor of speaking yesterday and his partner, Justin. Her beloved grandchildren, her sister Ellen, and brother- in-law Gary. Nephew, Ben, and many close friends and the caring staff at Atrium of Wayne. Her family asked me to extend their special gratitude to the staff at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Patterson for their care and compassion during her final hours. May God bless you, Cathy and all you knew and loved you.
Governor Phil Murphy: (16:52)
Next up here is in the middle. Betty Lou Dalesandro, Plainfield, born and raised. She had lived in Middlesex Borough since 1974 and was known to friends and family as Belle. Belle was a retired nurse who spent more than 25 years at the Lyons Veterans Hospital in Somerset County.
Governor Phil Murphy: (17:14)
But when she wasn’t tending to our veterans, she was spending time with her family. She passed her love of the Jersey Shore and Sunday drives to her children. She taught them to ice skate on a homemade backyard rink, how to make a gingerbread house from scratch and even how to drive a stick shift. I could have used her. She knew how to do it all. She loved to knit and sew when also led the reunion committee for her Plainfield High School class. Belle leaves behind her husband of 62 years, Anthony, and by the way, he has been up against it with a whole myriad of healthcare challenges that so far, thank God, he has beaten. Please keep him in your prayers and their children, Richard, Terry, Mary, and Nadine, who I had the great honor of speaking with yesterday. She also leaves…
Governor Phil Murphy: (18:03)
… who I had the great honor of speaking with yesterday. She also leaves eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. A life well lived and enjoyed to the fullest, Belle was 82 years old. We thank her for her years of service to our veterans. We keep her and her family in our thoughts and deepest prayers today.
Governor Phil Murphy: (18:23)
Finally today, we remember Jerome Rice. Jerome was 86 years old, an Elizabeth native and Mountainside resident, and a former once a Marine, always a Marine, a retired United States Marine Corps Sergeant who was one of the frozen Chosin. During that battle, he was with the 1st Marine Air Wing as a radar operator, part of the flight crews on supply transports that delivered not only desperately needed supplies, but also evacuated American soldiers. For his service, he was awarded numerous ribbons and medals.
Governor Phil Murphy: (19:01)
Once he returned to civilian life, his years of service weren’t over. He spent a distinguished 34 years as a member of the Mountainside Police Department. Remembered Pat as a cop’s cop, rising from patrolmen to detective sergeant.
Governor Phil Murphy: (19:17)
Service, by the way, runs in the family. Jerry’s son, James, served as a sergeant with the United States Marine Corps. A grandson, Michael, is an active Marine Corps staff sergeant. And another grandson, James, is a sergeant in the United States Army Marine Corps. And many other members of the family are first responders here in New Jersey.
Governor Phil Murphy: (19:42)
He leaves behind his wife, Audrey, who’s standing there with her. Look at that handsome couple. Daughters, Karen and Eileen. Sons, Joseph James, and John. Along with 21 grandchildren. I had the great honor to speak with one of them yesterday, Carolanne. 22 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
Governor Phil Murphy: (20:03)
Jerry was an American hero. May God bless him and his years of service to our nation and our state. And may God bless and watch over him and his family.
Governor Phil Murphy: (20:13)
These are the faces who will not be joining us on our road back. They won’t be able to participate in our restart, or take pride in our recovery. But their spirit is what will guide us, as we responsibly move forward to get our state working again. For them, we have to continue doing what we had been doing to stop the spread, to lessen the strains on our healthcare system, and to keep working together as one proud New Jersey family.
Governor Phil Murphy: (20:41)
We have been doing this for nearly two months now, and I know we have it in us to stick with it for the weeks to come, as we slowly yet purposefully begin our recovery. We’ll do it for Kathy, and Belle, and Jerry. We’ll do it for everyone. All 9,702 blessed souls who we have lost. We’ll do it in solidarity with everyone they left behind.
Governor Phil Murphy: (21:08)
To help us remember this, I don’t think I got a better message in a long time than this one from Catholic Charities in Paterson. Chris Brancato, the development director there, sent us this photo this morning of some of the individuals they serve in their department for persons with disabilities, sharing this message with us. It says, ” We are all in this together, so please stay home and help us stop the spread.” Look at that, folks, huh?
Governor Phil Murphy: (21:39)
We must remember that COVID-19 is particularly fierce within our most vulnerable communities, especially for individuals, the ones that Catholic Charities serves. So let’s heed this message. To Chris, and the entire team out there, and to everyone you serve, New Jersey thanks you.
Governor Phil Murphy: (21:58)
Second, I want to give a shout out to HomeFront, a place I’ve visited. It is an extraordinary spot right here in Mercer County. A terrific organization that works with homeless and at-risk families to break the cycle of poverty. As I said, I’ve visited there before, and they do tremendous work.
Governor Phil Murphy: (22:16)
This is Donte Patterson. He’s a participant in HomeFront’s Hire, as in H-I-R-E, Expectations jobs training program. Donte recently celebrated his 25th birthday. Happy birthday, man. In quarantine at HomeFront’s family campus with his wife and baby daughter, by becoming a high school graduate. He did it, he says, for his little girl. Donte was not going to let COVID-19 keep him from graduating and from putting himself in a position to provide his family with a brighter future. So to you, Donte, congratulations from all of us. I know your future is going to be bright. As we get back on the road back, I’m so proud to know that you will be on it with us.
Governor Phil Murphy: (23:05)
Before I close and turn things over to Judy, I want to speak to the revenue numbers, which State Treasurer, Liz Muoio, and her team are releasing today, which are starting to show the tremendous impact this emergency is having on our state’s revenues. April revenue collections declined 60, 60%, as compared to last April. An unprecedented $3. 5 billion. Moreover, April’s numbers generally reflect a lot of economic activity from March, including the weeks before we began the systematic shuttering of our greater economy.
Governor Phil Murphy: (23:45)
As we also push the filing of personal income and corporate business taxes from April 15 to July 15, what would usually be a bellwether report for how we may finish the fiscal year has also been delayed. While we are hopeful that we will see much of the losses replaced when those numbers are reported this summer, these numbers are a sobering reminder that the COVID-19 impact is not limited to the health of our people, but also to the health of our state’s finances. And we expect an increased number of filers taking extensions when the July deadline comes around due to COVID-19’s staggering economic impact.
Governor Phil Murphy: (24:25)
This makes direct assistance from the federal government all the more necessary and all the more urgent. We cannot sustain a collapse of revenues without turning to unprecedented layoffs. Layoffs, by the way of the very people we’re relying upon the most at this time. Our public health workers, our first responders, our educators, and the dedicated state employees who have been working to make sure everyone who has filed for unemployment insurance gets the money they deserve.
Governor Phil Murphy: (24:55)
We also cannot sustain a collapse of revenues without gutting many of the very economic and social service programs we will be relying upon to help fuel our restart and recovery, and to get our families and our state back up off the mat.
Governor Phil Murphy: (25:10)
Certainly, this is one month. But we know the numbers for May, which will encompass all of April, will almost certainly bear similar or worse news. Throughout our administration, we have taken great strides to shore up our state’s fiscal foundation, back-to-back record surpluses, year over year savings and public worker healthcare, the first rainy day fund deposit in a decade. This report shows the fiscal cliff we are now looking over the side of. We will continue to closely monitor our finances over the coming weeks and months as we head to the new fiscal year, which will now begin on October 1st.
Governor Phil Murphy: (25:49)
But I cannot be clearer unless we have partnerships with and from Washington, I fear for what the budget will look like for our state, for our businesses, and most importantly, for our people. We need to be able to borrow. We are working closely with our legislative colleagues. And we need direct federal cash assistance.
Governor Phil Murphy: (26:13)
I was on the phone yesterday. I had a very good conversation with Larry Kudlow, who’s the president’s chief economic advisor, this morning. I had the honor to speak with and take questions from the US Senate Democratic Caucus. I had a conversation again with Speaker Pelosi this morning. I’m going back this afternoon to sit with leadership, Senate president and speaker. This is an all hands on deck moment. We need every bit of resources we can find. Especially not just the borrowing we could do here through the Federal Reserve program, but boy, we need direct cash assistance in size from the federal government. That is a theme that we will continue to harp on.
Governor Phil Murphy: (26:55)
With that, please help me welcome the woman who needs no introduction, the commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli.
Judy Persichilli: (27:02)
Thank you, governor. Good afternoon. Yesterday, I signed an executive directive that all long-term care facilities must have a testing plan for their staff and residents. So I just want to make some points of clarification. Staff includes all direct care workers and non-direct care workers, such as administrative, janitorial, and kitchen staff. Anyone that works in the facility. The directive requires baseline testing of staff and residents to be completed by May 26th, retesting of individuals who tested negative within three to seven days from the initial test, and further testing over a period of time in line with the CDC guidance. The plan must address testing procedures and frequency, post-testing protocols for residents, and return to work protocols for staff.
Judy Persichilli: (27:59)
By May 19th, facilities must submit an attestation, stating that they have developed their plans and that they’ve developed them by the end of the month or May 29th. And they must attest that they have implemented their plans. Failure to comply with the directive may result in enforcement action, including license suspension or revocations.
Judy Persichilli: (28:23)
Testing in long-term care facilities is essential to control the spread of the virus, and to identify asymptomatic but positive residents and staff, so that they can be cohorted appropriately. We know that 26,476 individuals have been tested, and they have been identified as positive. With the partnership of several of our acute care hospitals, more long-term care facilities, residents, and staff are being tested this week and next. We want to continue to collaborate with long-term care facilities to protect their residents and staff.
Judy Persichilli: (29:04)
In April, the Department contracted with CareOne and Alaris to designate facilities throughout the state deemed COVID capable. These facilities are able to properly isolate and care for patients who are positive. These facilities are accepting patients discharged from acute care hospitals. More than 570 beds have been put aside and designated for these patients, and we are working to add more.
Judy Persichilli: (29:35)
Even through some of these most difficult times for the long-term care industry, I want to thank the frontline workers for their commitment to their residents. This is National Skilled Nursing Care Week, and all workers in these facilities deserve to be recognized and thanked.
Judy Persichilli: (29:58)
Now for my daily report. As the governor shared, our hospitals reported 4,226 hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients, of which 1,226 are in critical care, with 76% of them on ventilators. I’m pleased to report that no hospitals in the state were on divert last evening.
Judy Persichilli: (30:21)
Of concern, as of yesterday, we were notified of 11 cases of systemic inflammatory response syndrome. You may recall that is what in the press they are calling Kawasaki. This morning, we received seven more reports, for a total of 18. That’s a total of 18 children under the age of 18 years of age, between three years and 18, that have shown signs of this inflammatory response. They are all under investigation. We do know that the counties are Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Passaic, union, and Warren. Five of the original 11 were female. I do not have the breakdown on the seven that were reported this morning. Of the ones that were reported that we’ve been able to investigate, four tested positive for COVID-19. So there will be more reporting on that as the CDC identifies a case definition, and we finish our case investigations.
Judy Persichilli: (31:41)
The governor reviewed the new cases and deaths reported. In terms of deaths, the breakdown by race and ethnicity is as follows: White, 53.5. Black, 18.6. Hispanic, 19. Asian, 5.4. Other, 3. 4. Underlying conditions remain the same with cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus being the most prominent.
Judy Persichilli: (32:10)
We now have 522 long-term care facilities reporting cases of COVID-19. At the state veteran homes, among a census of 662, there have been 364 residents testing positive and a total of 137 deaths. Our state psychiatric hospitals report similar to yesterday, 194 patients testing positive and a total of 12 deaths.
Judy Persichilli: (32:44)
The daily percent positivity as of May 9th for New Jersey overall was 22%. In the north, it’s 23%, the central is 24%, and the south, 16%.
Judy Persichilli: (32:58)
That concludes the statistical report. Overall, our statistics have shown that social distancing has helped us slow the spread of the virus in our state. We are all eager to resume our normal activities, but we must continue to practice the precautionary measures that have been protecting the health of our residents. Please continue to stay at least six feet from others, do not gather in groups, stay away from crowded places, and limit close contact with others outside your household in indoor or outdoor spaces. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk, those with underlying conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes and lung disease, and older adults.
Judy Persichilli: (33:49)
Please continue to wear your face covering in public settings. We know the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity. For example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing. Remember, you can transmit the virus even if you do not have symptoms. So stay connected, stay safe, and stay healthy. Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: (34:12)
Judy, thank you. On the Kawasaki front, we’ll have more of this. That was sort of hot off the press. We’ll have more to report as we learn more.
Governor Phil Murphy: (34:21)
I want to welcome, as I predicted, our chief counsel, Matt Platkin is here, but also our chief technology officer, Chris Rein is here. Chris, I didn’t recognize you behind your mask. Thanks for being here. There you go. Thank you. Judy, thank you for your leadership as always.
Governor Phil Murphy: (34:39)
With that, may I turn to Colonel Pat Callahan for any update on compliance, PPE, infrastructure, other matters? Pat, thank you.
Pat Callahan: (34:46)
Thank you, governor. Good afternoon. Generally, a fairly quiet night with regards to compliance. Newark issued one EO violation, and issued 213 warnings as well. In Irvington, a non-essential furniture store was shut down. In Passaic, a non-essential massage/spa was shut down. Lastly, in Secaucus, Secaucus police responded to a 911 hang up with screaming in the background. An emotionally disturbed subject was found. She spit on three different officers and was ultimately taken to a hospital for an evaluation.
Pat Callahan: (35:28)
Just if I can go a minute off topic. With that in mind, I just think it’s important to note that just because there’s a pandemic, that law enforcement across the state and country still have to respond to things. 911 hang ups domestics, fatal accidents. And today’s a special day in our country’s history. May 13th always notes the National Law Enforcement Candlelight Vigil, where some upwards up to 40,000 people gather to light a candle to note the lives and sacrifice of nearly 22,000 law enforcement officers from-
Colonel Pat Callaghan: (36:03)
… Sacrifice of nearly 22,000 law enforcement officers from Darius Quimby the first law enforcement officer ever killed in the United States in 1791, when he was stabbed trying to arrest somebody on a trespassing warrant up to and including all of those others that have made the ultimate sacrifice. And tonight we were supposed to be there with Rosie McCoy, the widow of Staff Sergeant Brian McCoy marking the seventh trooper in five years that we’ve had their names engraved on that national law enforcement Memorial, but we will be doing it virtually this year as a country and as a globe.
Colonel Pat Callaghan: (36:37)
And I thought it was important to note May 13th, not only as a moment in time, but also to remember that we don’t have the option in law enforcement to stay home, that when the bell rings, we need to go. And I just thought that was worth mentioning because we’re up 28% increase as of May 13th today compared to last year in law enforcement line of duty deaths, 28% increase. So to those who think otherwise we took an oath and we are here to uphold it. Thanks governor.
Governor Phil Murphy: (37:12)
Pat, thank you. That is as poignant as it gets, at least 11 of the lives lost have been lost to COVID-19. Is that correct?
Colonel Pat Callaghan: (37:21)
That is correct.
Governor Phil Murphy: (37:22)
So this is not theoretical. It’s not abstract. It’s real. And as you said, Pat, members of law enforcement, God bless you all particularly those whose lives we’ve lost and we remember, but it’s not optional as to whether or not you answer the bell. You answer the bell every single time out. We’re going to start over here. But before we do, we are likely to be together at one o’clock tomorrow. But Thursday is always a day that Judy, Pat and I might be on with the White House.
Governor Phil Murphy: (37:51)
So at the moment we don’t know, we have not heard. So I’m looking at Mahen I believe, unless you hear otherwise, we’ll be here at one o’clock tomorrow. And I assume again on Friday and again on Saturday, and we’ll stay with the regular pattern. If you all could limit your, just so we can get through this. We got a big crowd here today. Nikita, good afternoon.
Good afternoon, governor. I’ll surprise you and say that I only have one question today.
Governor Phil Murphy: (38:16)
Wait, hold on a second.
So I think 30 odd towns had municipal and school board races yesterday. We saw turnout go up across the board, but we also saw increased numbers of ballots being thrown out. We saw some allegations-
Governor Phil Murphy: (38:34)
Increased numbers of what? Sorry?
Increased number of ballots being invalidated or thrown out. We saw allegations of voter fraud or concerns over voter fraud in a couple of towns. And we’re also seeing many mail-in ballots take a week or more to arrive. So I’m wondering generally, what are your takeaways from yesterday?
Governor Phil Murphy: (38:56)
Yeah, I’d say a good question. And I’d say it’s largely too early to give you a full answer, but we need to make a decision on the July 7 elections. So you can imagine we’re digesting yesterday pretty aggressively. I was back and forth with the secretary of state yesterday, both during the day and last evening. We did some amount of postmortems today. I texted or called some of the winners to congratulate them. So I don’t have a good, comprehensive answer.
Governor Phil Murphy: (39:28)
I will be surprised. Today’s Wednesday. I’ll be surprised that we don’t have a more comprehensive answer, especially as it relates to July 7 by the end of this week. So if you could bear with us, we’re still again, digesting, but assume that will Matt Platkin is back there. Matt, would you agree by the end of the week? I think we’ll be able to have an answer would be my guess. Matt’s nodding his head. Thank you for that. Sir.
Speaker 1: (39:55)
Thank you, governor. On the unemployment front, we are being inundated with emails and calls, social media with New Jerseyans reaching out desperate for help. Your own social media accounts are inundated with people that are desperate. They can’t pay their bills, feed their kids. Their savings are gone, weeks without a check. How is this acceptable to you?
Speaker 1: (40:14)
And you have said that they will get every penny and that we are ahead of other States, but that doesn’t really matter if you can’t feed your kids. So tell me what specifically is being done to fix the unemployment issue. And as for the road back and reopening, are you comfortable that the numbers have gone down enough and they’re strong enough to ease the restrictions?
Governor Phil Murphy: (40:32)
There’s not a whole lot more I can tell you about the backlog of unemployment. We’re going to have the labor commissioner’s Rob with us tomorrow. Mahen, Mahen. Sorry, Rob, Angela will be with us tomorrow. We’re going to have with us tomorrow because it’s Thursday. When the numbers come out. You’ve taken the words right out of my mouth.
Governor Phil Murphy: (40:52)
New Jersey has, I think is by many measures ranked at the top of the American state, so plowing through the backlog. And that will be nothing to anybody who still hasn’t gotten their benefits. We’ve been very clear about that. This is a tsunami unlike any that any state has, our country has ever dealt with before. I would just say to folks, you will get every penny, including the federal piece. And I don’t blame you for being frustrated.
Governor Phil Murphy: (41:17)
The numbers are allowing us to take incremental steps. I think we’ve been pretty clear that the numbers have improved. And then you look at the density of realities, of positive cases, hospitalizations and fatalities per 100,000 residents. It’s also quite clear that we’re not out of the woods yet. So we can not just start flipping light switches.
Governor Phil Murphy: (41:40)
We think these are responsible, incremental steps, and we take our guidance first and foremost from the two folks to my right and their teams, as well as input nationally. Judy mentioned she was on the phone explicitly on some of this with Dr. Birx yesterday. And so we think the steps we’re taking are responsible steps given that we’re sort of in that balancing reality, that we’ve made meaningful progress.
Governor Phil Murphy: (42:08)
There’s no other way to put it, but we’re still also, there’s no other way to put that we’re not the end zone yet. So we can’t go full bore and we’re not going full bore. Thank you. Won’t you come down to Matt in the front here, if you could, Matt. Matt, good afternoon.
So governor I’m curious what the state has done to transfer testing supplies to nursing homes. Some have said they have not received any guidance. And also curious if Medicaid would cover the costs associated with that testing.
Today’s announcement with our clarification with gathering in cars. Is that something that school districts can do for graduations? Curious about that. You mentioned an announcement on elective procedures coming later this week. Just curious about what else you folks are looking to announce in terms of hard dates that could come out later this week.
And finally, just if you have any update on any numbers of the amount of people who signed up online to work as contact tracers, excuse me.
Governor Phil Murphy: (43:05)
Okay. We can find that as the last question. Can you get that, Lily? As we’re sitting here, Mahen that number is probably gettable. So bear with us on the last one. I’m going to address and you’ll tell me when I get this wrong, Pat. Cars and gatherings and either Judy or Pat on the transfer of the supplies to LTC, as well as Medicaid coverage. The answer is yes as long as you stay in the car, correct?
Colonel Pat Callaghan: (43:33)
Governor Phil Murphy: (43:34)
Yeah, the answer’s yes, Matt, as long as you stay in the car. And I wish I could say, I got a high school senior who came out to me today and I would love to be able to say, “You’re all set to be able to gather face-to-face, but we’re not there yet.” I would hope that by the end of the week, we’ve got guidance on July 7th election, elective surgery, Judy, I think by the end of the week. And beach protocol, I had a very good call.
Governor Phil Murphy: (44:02)
We’ve been keeping them posted the whole way. And I can’t say enough good things about the cooperation we’ve had from the shore counties and the shore mayors. We had another really good call yesterday. They’re suggesting. We’ve got really good suggestions from them as well as concerns, obviously that they’re raising. So I’d say beaches would be on that list. Mahen, any answer on the contacts? We’re still looking for contact tracing. He’s running over to get a microphone. While he does, any idea of the testing supplies and what the status getting to LTC? Either one of you?
Colonel Pat Callaghan: (44:38)
As early as this morning, after our 10 o’clock call, I reached out to FEMA, got a response with regards to not only the PPE and testing kits, they are currently working through 16 vendors across the country to get that. We have asked the longterm care facilities to let us know as part of daily reporting.
Colonel Pat Callaghan: (44:56)
So we’re tracking that as well, which then feeds into that algorithm and allocation method that we use every day. So it’s not like everything’s coming all at once. It is a very phased approach on those deliveries, Matt.
Governor Phil Murphy: (45:11)
Judy, you want to add anything to that?
Judy Persichilli: (45:13)
We’re doing a full inventory of what they need so that we can match that with the inventory that Pat takes control of every day. On the Medicaid and any insurance, there is a registration process that’s been developed. We used it in South Jersey. So there will be a billing of both Medicare and Medicaid for the patients that will be getting tested. And it covers collection and testing.
Governor Phil Murphy: (45:43)
And remember that the target date to get universal testing and LTCs including staff is May 26th, right?
Judy Persichilli: (45:50)
By May 26th. Is definitely by the end of the month.
Governor Phil Murphy: (45:54)
How many folks have sign up to contact trace, Mahen?
Mahen Gunaratna: (45:56)
We have 21,111 sign ups so far.
Governor Phil Murphy: (46:00)
That’s since yesterday?
Mahen Gunaratna: (46:01)
Governor Phil Murphy: (46:02)
Okay. Thank you Matt. Elise, let’s do you and then we’ll go ma’am in the back if you can bear with us. Good afternoon.
Hi. Good afternoon. Can you talk a bit more about your conversations with Larry Kudlow and Nancy Pelosi? And did the April revenue report have any effect on the timing of your order to ease restrictions on non-essential, retail, and construction? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: (46:25)
Thanks Elise. The answer to the second question is simply no, unrelated. It’s something that we had been sort of we’ve got a series of steps that are logical priorities based first and foremost on health. And I think Judy, it’s fair to say that non-essential construction, curbside pickup, driving, drive-thrus and drive-bys, electives, those have all been in the earlier sets of steps that we thought we could take responsibly when the data showed us that we could. So it did not.
Governor Phil Murphy: (47:06)
Larry, by the way, who’s an Englewood native, by the way, it’s a lot of Jersey blood in the White House these days he’s yet another one of them. A good conversation, it mostly centered around the feds lending facility. That’s something that we are keenly interested in taking up. That’ll be a subject of our discussions. In fact, there’s a working group meeting going on right now, which Matt had been a part of on borrowing. And we’ve got a leadership meeting, as I mentioned later on this afternoon.
Governor Phil Murphy: (47:38)
So it was largely, it was a little bit more broad in terms of economic outlook, but it was far more focused on taking advantage of the fed lending facility. With the speaker, we’ve had a number of them at this point, but a followup on our conversation from Saturday. She called this morning just to get my reaction to the bill that was dropped yesterday, which was a very positive reaction.
Governor Phil Murphy: (48:08)
We put a statement out. I did it on my own and then on behalf of the Democratic Governors Association. I mentioned, I had a call this morning with US senators in the democratic caucus. I reiterated both support for Senator Menendez’s bipartisan bill, as well as the speakers bill in the House. They both have big chunks of direct federal cash assistance. And I just reiterated the case for that.
Governor Phil Murphy: (48:33)
The speaker’s bill also has a lifting of the cap on salt deductions for a couple of years, which is a big priority for us as we’ve mentioned, as well as for members of our congressional delegation. So it was a good conversation in both respects. Thank you. Hello, ma’am. Hold on one sec.
Speaker 2: (48:55)
Okay. Question about the contact tracing. Is that something that’s going to be done by phone, electronically? That’s one part of the question. The other thing is isolation. You touched on it yesterday, what the CDC is saying as far as isolation, are there going to be enforcement of isolation or anything like that?
Speaker 2: (49:20)
And the other thing, one more thing from the Jersey Shore people, we obviously the beach is important to us to be reopened, but what about the municipal pools? Will you also be addressing that and private swim clubs?
Governor Phil Murphy: (49:35)
Yep. I’ll start it and Judy, feel free to come in here. Contact tracing is a combination of both talking to you on the phone, as well as the technology is the short answer. And we made a big point yesterday and I give Judy enormous credit here. The folks who were on the other end of the phone are going to be folks who are community-based, who look and live and are in fact, the New Jersey that they’re reaching out to. And Judy can add more on that.
Governor Phil Murphy: (50:03)
I think we said yesterday, and if we did not, my bad. But we’re still working out the elements of the isolation piece of this. So we will get to with a fuller picture of that as soon as we can. Pools came up on the call yesterday with Shore County, Shore mayors. Matt, I’m not sure. Is that still something under consideration? I think we’re going to have news on that probably tomorrow is my guess or Friday, right?
Matt Platkin: (50:26)
Still under consideration. I’m not exactly sure when.
Governor Phil Murphy: (50:29)
Yep. We’re not there yet. By the way, very compelling cases made by a couple of the mayors, including the very act of filling up the pool so that it’s not a cement pit, whether or not folks can use the pool, but all that to be determined. In fact, Matt tells me you can fill the pool up as of now, but we’ll come back to you with guidance in terms of usage or not.
Governor Phil Murphy: (50:51)
Big concern about capacity and whether or not you can use pools as a way to unleaven the capacity challenges that folks will face. But if you could bear with us on that. Judy, contact tracing and/or isolation, any thoughts?
Judy Persichilli: (51:04)
On contact tracing as the governor mentioned, there’ll be phone and technology, but they’re also maybe in limited cases face-to-face if required, particularly as we see the pediatric cases increase, there may be a reason to do that. Obviously with all of the protections.
Judy Persichilli: (51:23)
I can give a full report on isolation and quarantine and how these municipalities, the counties and State Department of Health have put together a statewide complement of bed spaces for those that cannot appropriately do that at home. So I’d be happy to do that. I can do it offline or I can do it tomorrow, whatever your pleasure is.
Governor Phil Murphy: (51:51)
Let’s keep moving today and we can come back to it. Is that all right?
Judy Persichilli: (51:54)
Governor Phil Murphy: (51:54)
That’ll work? Thank you. Sir, do you have one? Yes, please.
Speaker 3: (51:58)
Let’s see. Two for you governor. Minority leader Jon Bramnick has called for public hearings conducted virtually to question health experts and members of the administration on when and how New Jersey should reopen. Would you support this?
Speaker 3: (52:14)
And also Senator Vitale has called Commissioner Persa Kelly, Commissioner Carole Johnson, and General Mark Petoskey to testify a longterm care facilities. Will you allow them to be questioned by the Senate Health Committee? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: (52:28)
Yeah, I got no insight into either of those. I was asked about Jon Bramnick yesterday, and I said this is a general matter. We know it takes a village here. We can’t do everything on our own and we never expected to, and we need our legislative partners. We need our federal delegation. We need the Trump administration. We need non-profits. We need everybody. This is an all hands on deck moment.
Governor Phil Murphy: (52:53)
I don’t have any specific comments on either Jon’s or Senator Vitale’s, which I’m only just have learned about myself. But the fact of the matter is we know we get there together and that’s the spirit. And that includes across the aisle. That’s the spirit with which we have been conducting ourselves and that’s the spirit which will continue. So thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: (53:19)
Nothing? Are you sure? Okay, Dave, we’re down to you. Down in front here. Brendan, you look like you’re in an Olympic trial there. I’m not sure for what, but please.
Governor, with regard to the retail curbside pickup that you’re announcing today. Some people don’t understand the logic of this. I know you’ve said it’s one step at a time it’s incremental. But people are in supermarkets wearing masks, social distancing, capacity is limited. And this for many retail stores, it would be easier to keep people further apart and limit the numbers. So what is, if you could just talk about …
… further apart and limit the number. So what is, if you could just talk about the logic specifically about this whole situation. As the COVID crisis is continuing, more and more people, especially as the weather is getting warmer, seemed to be unhappy about this or that. You’ve got lawmakers raising points. You’ve got petitions to allow different graduations situations. You’ve said repeatedly you’re looking at facts, science, data, and you’re trying to save lives.
Are you getting depressed at the increasing amount of questioning that you’re facing? Does it start to wear on you? Is it frustrating? How do you deal with this? You’re a human being just like everybody else in here. And final question for the commissioner who needs no introduction. You told lawmakers, I believe commissioner that if a resident of a longterm care facility dies of COVID in the hospital, the death is counted as a hospital death. One State Senator is unhappy about this. He believes that it’s skewing the totals and incorrectly showing that there are fewer longterm care deaths actually, and more general population deaths, which he took issue with. Could you explain that? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: (55:21)
Do you want to actually do you want to jump in on that one first Judy?
Judy Persichilli: (55:24)
Sure. Actually, I’m going to send it over to Ed. He’s the keeper of all of the data, particularly on deaths.
Thank you. First. Let me say that as we get data from longterm care facilities and other places, we always consider that be provisional because investigations are still ongoing and numbers will change. No number that we put out today, I would consider to be final. With that being said, the information that is given to longterm care facility is actually that if they have a resident who dies in the hospital, they’re supposed to count that as having died in the facility. So those should actually be counted as a facility death, not a hospital death.
Governor Phil Murphy: (56:07)
Dave, on the first question, in terms of … thank you Ed, in terms of logic … And by the way, we’re not deliberately … may I just add to this? We’re not deliberately trying to do anything with the data other than to present it as unvarnished as we can and as accurately as we can. So there’s no hiding the P here in any respect. The good, the bad and the ugly. And I think that speaks for itself. The curbside logic continues to be this. First of all, give us credit. We just took a big step. So these stores will now be able to do this. We’re still in a stay at home mode. We’re still stay at home unless you have to go out. And having said that, and so by the way, you got to eat. You got to go to the pharmacy. So there’s certain obvious exceptions from day one that are essential. And we get that.
Governor Phil Murphy: (57:01)
This is a step in, I think, a positive direction for all those retailers who were deemed to be non-essential. I think it’s a responsible one. We just don’t want people congregating. I just don’t know how else to say it. I said this yesterday. I don’t have a chart to show you, but if you look at the … and Ed and Judy, I’m practicing without a license here, so forgive me. When you start to go down the backside of the curve and you look at any moment in time that you dramatically lift social distancing restrictions and what the impact is in terms of where the virus that curve then hits versus if you held on for another 14 days, it’s dramatic. It is dramatic. And Ed and Judy live this.
Governor Phil Murphy: (57:54)
And so we want to drive this thing. We want to drive this sucker as hard as we can. And the least amount of congregation we have or the less amount we have, the better. It just is that simple. The faster we’ll be able to really get back to business.
Governor Phil Murphy: (58:16)
If you get depressed, politics will be the wrong line of business. So as a general matter, you have to have a thick skin. And listen, everyone’s entitled their opinion. I don’t begrudge that, I don’t agree with everybody. We’re doing what we’ve said we would do. We’re doing our best to balance all the various realities. As I said earlier, the first two slides speak to that balance more than anything else right now. Enormous progress on hospitalizations, ICU, ventilators, et cetera on the one hand. And on the other hand, New Jersey is still in the pole position of American States in terms of positives, hospitalizations, and fatalities per 100,000 residents. No other way to say it than that.
Governor Phil Murphy: (59:04)
So our job is to shoot as much as we can down the middle of the plate, as responsibly as we can. Others are entitled their opinions. We’ll continue doing what we’re doing, whether it’s popular or not. This is not a popularity contest. We’re up here to save as many lives as we can. And responsibly at the same time, get the place back on its feet. But thank you for asking. Real quick, Brendan. Dave only because he’s …
Just a follow up if I may governor, but do you go home and does it wear on you? You come in here, you’re pretty good energy. Lots of smiles, lots of encouragement.
Governor Phil Murphy: (59:43)
Yeah. Listen, I’m like anybody else. I’m a human being and this is an incredibly difficult chapter in our country’s history and our state’s history. Maybe the most difficult arguably. So it occasionally gets to you. But at the end of the day, the responsibility that I’ve got, that we have got all of us, and I’m no different than these folks, by the way, is to keep moving. We got to get through this, save as many lives as we can, and responsibly get the state back up on his feet as fast as we can. But I appreciate your you’re asking. Sir, how you doing anything?
Speaker 6: (01:00:19)
I’m sorry, I lied. I do have one.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:00:23)
I’ll give you one.
Speaker 6: (01:00:24)
Just the one.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:00:25)
This is a complete protocol violation.
Speaker 6: (01:00:29)
The FDA recently approved the first COVID antigen test, which is cheaper than the PCR test and can provide results in 15 minutes. Some experts say the antigen tests are the key to reopening state economies. So is New Jersey looking into purchasing these and making them readily available?
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:00:46)
I know Ed is more qualified to answer. Is that going to be a shocking news that Ed’s more qualified to answer that than I am?
When you talk about testing for COVID, as we said before, there are two ways you can test. You can test for the virus itself or you can test for the body’s response to the virus. To this date, the only way that we could test for the virus itself was looking for the viruses RNA through what’s known as a PCR test. The antibody test, that’s what tests for the body’s response to that virus. The antigen tests that you’re talking about now, that is a second way to look for parts of the virus itself. So that would be a way that theoretically could tell you whether somebody is currently infected with the virus itself.
Yes, we do think that this test and the first one was approved and more will be coming along certainly play a role. The issue with it is in general, they tend not to be as specific and sensitive meaning that they’re less likely to pick up that if somebody has the virus. So you may have the virus that test may come back saying you don’t. And you’re more likely to have it there than on the PCR test. So we think that they certainly play a role and we’re learning more as more of these tests come online. At this point as to whether we’d be recommending purchasing, or we’d say wide scale that we should be going that way rather than a rapid test, rather than all these other tests at this point, no, we do not yet have a conclusion as to what our recommendation would be.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:02:09)
Thank you, sir?
Speaker 7: (01:02:10)
Good afternoon, Governor.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:02:11)
Speaker 7: (01:02:12)
How are you doing there? So this question is kind of in light of what Colonel Callahan said earlier about May 13th. With police academies closed, is there any concern in the near future of replenishing some of the forces throughout the state?
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:02:26)
Is that it?
Speaker 7: (01:02:29)
Yep. I’m going to make it short.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:02:31)
Speaker 8: (01:02:32)
You mean as far as law enforcement agencies?
Speaker 7: (01:02:35)
Law enforcement, fire academies, obviously like schools their-
Speaker 8: (01:02:38)
I think the governor’s said it all along with regards to not having beyond health care workers, those first responders impacted. Even the class that we have in specifically to the state police to hold on to 190 plus in very creative ways to support this effort, we’re going to keep asking for troopers. And I would imagine police chief keep asking for law enforcement and fire and EMS, because again, this, although unprecedented, I said it before we can’t stop answering the 911 calls or going to fires or going to medical assists are going to car accidents. So, that need will not diminish. It’ll always be there. So I would imagine that we keep on doing our best to keep training academy staffed with all those first responders.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:03:27)
Is there any evidence this has impacted the pipeline of folks who are raising their hands saying they want to be a first responder?
Speaker 8: (01:03:35)
That had happened nationally across the last few years. Myself and the colonels we get together, the recruiting of law enforcement officers, men and women, very difficult in this day and age. Whether that’s a combination of the scrutiny that we’re under, which I think is a factor. I know of no other profession that asks you to put a camera on and go out 24/7 and deal with some pretty tough situations. So the recruiting across the country has really gone down in the past years. And this is either, I think the commissioner can talk … you might see a spike in recruiting of not only nurses and doctors and law enforcement, because sometimes that … it’s almost like after 9/11 when you saw folks sign up and say, “You know what, I’m joining the military because I want to support our country.” I’m hoping that’s the case on the other side of this pandemic that we see a spike in recruiting and not a dropping off.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:04:31)
I’m a big national service guy. And I believe this is a little bit same church, different pew. I think there’s a coming together right now. I would agree with that last point. Do you see that with folks who want to become a healthcare worker, Judy?
Judy Persichilli: (01:04:48)
Yeah. I mean actually our enrollments for nursing programs were up to begin with. But I think, you want to be part of this and you want to be a hero. The student nurses that are coming out to help volunteer to go into longterm care is remarkable. So it’s something you want to be part of.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:05:07)
In the face of, without question, the risks that each and every one of both on each side of me and what you represent take every day right now. So thank you for asking. John, you’ll take us out. Good being with you last night. Thank you for having me.
Speaker 9: (01:05:23)
Governor, the White House reopening plan says the states should be looking at a two week decline in ER visit data where patients are reporting COVID like or flu like symptoms. That’s data that’s being reported from hospitals to the federal government. Are you using any of that data in your decision making now to start this reopening? And if so, can that data be public?
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:05:44)
Was that ER visits-
Speaker 9: (01:05:45)
ER, visit data, yeah. The Kawasaki syndrome, have there been any deaths been reported and how many of the children are still hospitalized? And yesterday, governor, you expected the price tag for contact tracing to be hundreds of millions of dollars. Will any of that be funded and handled by the Bloomberg John Hopkins partnership? And how much are you depending on for federal dollars for that? Any state dollars into that mix, as well. And the budget numbers you put up, you said 60% off year to year, but can you tell us how much is all from your projections that you needed for the current fiscal year?
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:06:25)
Judy, I’ll take a couple of these and then you want to come in behind me. On the last one, I don’t have that, but we can get that for you. Although, I don’t know, Matt, will we have budgeted … I don’t know that we would have budgeted monthly revenues, but perhaps. We’ll come back to that John.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:06:47)
Now the Bloomberg Philanthropies or Bloomberg Foundation, I’m not sure where this is coming from, and by the way, I want to give them a big shout out again, are working with Johns Hopkins on general information training stuff that we’re using as opposed to funding programs directly. I think that’s a fair way to put it. We are hoping for a big support from the federal government. We got to do it anyways, we have no choice, but we are very much hoping for a big slug of federal money. Matt, do you want to weigh in on that?
Yeah. In the COVID 3.5 bill that passed a few weeks ago, that was principally the small business bill, there was a substantial amount of money for testing in New Jersey on a per capita basis based on the formula, did as well, if not better than every other state. So that’s purely testing and contact tracing money, but we do have that available. Or will, rather.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:07:40)
Judy, I’ll say this and hand it to you. But I think we’ve felt that hospitalizations, ICU beds, ventilator use has been a better barometer collectively for monitoring this as opposed to ER visits. But that’s obviously your expertise. And I assume you’ve got the answer on the Kawasaki question.
Judy Persichilli: (01:08:00)
I’ll start with the Kawasaki question. And then I’m going to let Ed share with you the types of monitoring CDS does on people presenting in the emergency room. Of the 11 cases that were reported yesterday, we do know that all 11 were hospitalized. I don’t have any data on the seven that were reported this morning. Ed?
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:08:26)
Judy, no fatalities that we know?
Judy Persichilli: (01:08:27)
No fatalities. No, I’m sorry. No fatalities.
And I just want to say quickly one word about the Kawasaki thing as well. You’ll hear it called Kawasaki. You’ve heard toxic shock syndrome. More commonly now you’re hearing pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome. These are all different names for the same thing that we’re kind of learning about. I do want to make one thing clear because I actually had this question come in, Kawasaki syndrome is a rare illness that involves the pediatric population. Coxsackie virus is a very common infection of younger children and that causes what’s known as hand foot and mouth disease. So I don’t want people out there, parents out there to get concerned, “Oh, my child had Coxsackie.” Coxsackie is very different from Kawasaki, even though they sound somewhat similar.
As far as the question about emergency department visits, yes, that is something that we do monitor. It’s what’s known as syndromic surveillance. We look at it over time. This is data a little bit old from a few days ago, but it kind of goes through that and you can kind of see that the fall down in emergency department visits related to that. So yes, that is data that we do monitor regularly.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:09:38)
Thanks John. Thank you all. I’m going to mask up here as we … so again, non-essential construction, drive through drive in, non-essential retail curbside pickup we hit today. I would hope that tomorrow we’ll be together at 1:00, [Mahan 00:15:58]. Tomorrow and or Friday, we’ll be able to take some steps on elections on beach guidance, elective surgeries. We’ll also have the commissioner of labor and workforce development Rob [Asero 01:10:11] Angela with us tomorrow to discuss not only the Thursday results, but also the general progress we are or are not making. I think we’ve made a lot of progress, but folks are frustrated. I don’t blame them.
Governor Phil Murphy: (01:10:27)
Keep doing what you’re doing folks. While we’re not out of the woods, we have made an enormous amount of progress. There’s no state that’s made the progress that we have and that’s because of you all out there. So bless you and thank you. Judy, to you and Ed, thank you as always. Pat, likewise. Jared, Chris has left, Matt, the whole team, Mahan. Thank you all. God bless you all. We’ll see tomorrow.