Gov. Murphy declares a state of emergency amid coronavirus concerns

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Gov. Phil Murphy has declared a state of emergency in New Jersey to help the state better prepare to contain the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Murphy’s order will allow state agencies and departments to “utilize state resources to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases.”

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There were at least 11 “presumptive positive” cases of coronavirus in New Jersey as of Monday afternoon, with five of those cases being in Bergen County. State officials announced five new cases during a news conference on Monday.

 

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“My Administration will continue to work closely with our federal partners to ensure that local health agencies on the front lines of the state’s response are equipped with the resources needed to further prepare our health care system for a broader spread of COVID-19,” the governor said in a statement.

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The order will also prohibit “excessive price increases” on certain products and will be able to help expedite the delivery of goods and services necessary for the virus response efforts.

State officials say that they have been preparing for the virus for weeks and assure the public that there is no reason to panic. Health officials say that New Jerseyans should continue to practice safe personal hygiene, such as washing their hands frequently with warm water and soap, and covering their mouths when they cough or sneeze.

The state has set up a coronavirus hotline to answer questions the public may have. That number is 1-800-222-1222.

There are currently 14 tests in progress and 24 people under investigation.

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