N.J. Sees Fifth Straight Day With Below 2,000 Hospitalized

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(Bloomberg) -- New Jersey has seen its fifth straight day of fewer than 2,000 hospitalizations from Covid-19, Governor Phil Murphy announced, as he asked residents protesting the killing of George Floyd to get tested for the coronavirus.

Thousands of New Jerseyans — including Murphy over the weekend — have joined demonstrations in recent days demanding police reform in the wake of Floyd’s death.

The governor said he was encouraged by the hospitalization numbers: 1,740 patients were being treated, down from more than 8,000 at the April peak. Intensive-care units had 498 cases, a 50% drop over three weeks. For three consecutive days, fewer than 400 virus patients were using ventilators. Though 94 people were admitted in the prior 24 hours, 112 were discharged.

The state’s death toll from the virus reached 12,214 while the number of new cases rose to 164,497.

Public and private swimming pools will be allowed to reopen on June 22, Murphy said on Twitter.

At a legislative hearing this morning, state Education Commissioner Lawrence Repollet said September school-opening guidance will be forthcoming this month.

Nonessential retail businesses have approval to open a week from now, with limited capacity, but three Republican state lawmakers urged Murphy to allow sales to start this week, with a special appeal for Atlantic Ocean resort towns that rely on tourism spending.

Some national chains, including Home Depot, Walmart and Target, weren’t subject to Murphy’s March 21 closing order because their merchandise was considered essential.

“If customers can browse and shop in big-box stores while practicing social distancing, they can do the same in mom-and-pop businesses in our shore communities,” Assemblyman Greg McGuckin, from Toms River, said in a statement.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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