Hospitals are starting to come out of crisis mode, says Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, and ‘important metrics’ are trending positively, says Governor Phil Murphy.
By Matt Skoufalos | May 2, 2020
Another 2,912 New Jersey residents have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the statewide total to 123,717 cases, Governor Phil Murphy reported Saturday.
Sadly, 255 more residents perished from complications related to the virus, bringing the statewide death toll to 7,742 lives lost during the pandemic.
Throughout New Jersey, 5,713 people were hospitalized with a case of COVID-19, or while awaiting confirmation of their symptoms, a drop of more than 1,000 in a week.
Of those, 1,715 were in intensive or critical care, and 1,230 were on ventilators.
In the past 24 hours, hospitals admitted 378 new patients and discharged 525 others, either to a lower-acuity care setting or to their homes. Fifty-one patients are presently receiving care at one of the state’s field medical stations, which have served 393 people in total.
Statewide, 505 long-term care (LTC) centers have reported at least one case of COVID-19, said New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli. In total, such facilities account for 20,284 positive cases and 3,670 deaths in New Jersey.
Of 793 veterans residing in a state-run home, 358 have tested positive for the virus, as have 163 of 1,250 patients at state-run psychiatric facilities, where 10 people have died.
Hospitals across the state “are starting to transition from crisis standards of care to standard operations,” Persichilli said. Only two hospitals in Central Jersey were on divert last night, and for psychiatric services only, she said.
“All of the important metrics in our hospitals continue to see positive trends,” Murphy said. “We need to keep seeing these lines moving in these directions before we can put New Jersey on the road back, and before we’re able to responsibly restart our economy.”
Persichilli also noted that New Jersey hospitals have treated almost 60,000 non-COVID patients since April 1.
Of those, 90 percent returned home, eight percent went to alternative care settings, and one percent expired.
New Jersey’s hospitals will get a boost from an infusion of $1.7 billion in federal direct aid, Murphy said Saturday.
Of 395 hospitals hardest hit nationally by the pandemic, 53 are in New Jersey, he said.
“We will work closely with them to understand how these funds are being used to fund access and treatment for residents,” the governor said, adding that their needs include both material goods and staffing.
Staffing continues to be an issue in New Jersey’s LTC facilities, where Persichilli said “it’s very difficult to get people to do the hands-on activities of daily living.
“Not all of them are very anxious to do the work that we need,” she said.
LTC sites throughout the state have been given the names of 1,000 volunteers to make up a staffing shortfall, and student nurses are stepping in to fill gaps, too, Persichilli said.
Finally, the governor announced an executive order extending statutory deadlines required under environmental laws, the signing of which “will ensure that [the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection] has the necessary time to get the information it needs to make fully informed decisions.”
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