TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey day care providers have until Friday to certify they can and will serve only the children of workers deemed essential during the COVID-19 emergency or face closure, Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.
Murphy said a lack of child care “cannot be a barrier” for essential workers. Murphy's earlier orders have said that grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations among others are considered essential. Health care workers are also considered essential, along with law enforcement, fire and emergency personnel.
Day care centers that don't serve only essential workers must close by April 1 under the executive order Murphy signed Wednesday.
News of the order followed Murphy's daily news conference on the outbreak, which he said Wednesday had led to the deaths of 62 people in the state, up from 44. More than 4,000 have tested positive.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
A look at more developments in the state:
OCEAN CITY BEACHES, BOARDS CLOSED
Ocean City officials said Wednesday that they were closing the popular summer resort's boardwalk and beaches.
“We have a large senior population, and it’s of utmost importance to take their well-being into consideration," Mayor Jay Gillian said in a letter.
Gillian said that not everyone was taking the shelter-at-home order issued by the governor seriously. He said warm weather would make the situation worse but that he wanted to err on the side of caution.
A hotline for New Jersey workers to report employers for making them come into work despite the COVID-19 emergency declaration got so many calls that it crashed the system, according to the governor.
Murphy said that instead of the number, the state has set up a website form for workers to report any potential violations of an executive order calling on residents to stay at home.
Murphy has called on firms to let employees work from home.
“The very fact there were so many complaints in itself is a concern and problem. We are not making polite suggestions to your firm. Everybody needs to follow this order.”
MORE TESTING CENTERS
Essex County officials said Wednesday that a drive-thru testing center would be opening Thursday in Newark's Weequahic Park. A drive-thru facility for Passaic County residents opened Wednesday at William Paterson University.
In Essex, appointments are mandatory, according to a statement from Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo. Residents should go to the county's website to complete a screening form and make an appointment.
In Passaic, county residents must have a referral from a doctor, Gov. Phil Murphy said earlier this week.Read Full Article
The testing centers join other facilities for county-only residents at Kean University in Union and Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus. There are two federally operated centers in Bergen and Monmouth counties for residents statewide.
Officials in Camden County in southern New Jersey have said they plan to open a testing center soon.
New Jersey paid $500,000 to the firm BioReference for 10,000 COVID-19 tests, according to an invoice obtained by The Associated Press.
Murphy announced the partnership with the Elmwood Park, New Jersey, company last week. Dr. Jon Cohen, the firm's executive chairman, said last week that the company is also working with five counties to open drive-thru testing centers, in addition to supplying the tests.
CHEF FLOYD CARDOZ DIES
A “Top Chef Masters” winner and beloved restaurateur, Chef Floyd Cardoz, has died of complications from the coronavirus. He was 59.
A statement released by his company says Cardoz died Wednesday. He was admitted a week ago to Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, New Jersey, with a fever and subsequently tested positive for the virus.
The chef won season 3 of Bravo's “Top Chef Masters” in 2011. He was a partner in three restaurants in his native Mumbai. In addition, he and famed restaurateur Danny Meyer operated the popular eatery Tabla in the early 2000s. It closed in 2010.
NURSING HOME TRANSFER
All 94 residents from St. Joseph’s nursing home in Woodbridge are being moved Wednesday by Morris County officials to a CareOne facility in Whippany, according to a statement on behalf of CareOne.
Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Tuesday that workers at the senior center had become ill and the sisters who run the facility were struggling to care for the patients.
Videos and photos posted online showed officials wearing protective gear wheeling the patients from the center to vehicles to transport them to their new residence.
MORE BUSINESSES DEEMED ESSENTIAL
Murphy expanded the kinds of businesses that are permitted to operate while the state's COVID-19 emergency orders are in place. The list of businesses considered essential now includes:
— Mobile phone retail and repair shops
— Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair
— Livestock feed stores
— Nurseries and garden centers
— Farming equipment stores
The list also includes groceries and supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations.