New Jersey puts out call for additional health care workers as COVID-19 cases surge

New Jersey is putting out the call for any and all retired or inactive health care workers to join the effort to help fight the coronavirus as cases surge in the state.

News 12 Staff

Apr 1, 2020, 8:41 PM

Updated 1,518 days ago

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New Jersey is putting out the call for any and all retired or inactive health care workers to join the effort to help fight the coronavirus as cases surge in the state.
State health officials identified more than 3,600 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, along with 91 additional deaths. The state death toll now stands at 355, six times what it was just one week ago. Officials say that the infection and death rates are likely to continue to accelerate in the coming days.
“It looks like the surge is beginning to occur in the northern part of the state,” said Gov. Phil Murphy.
Two hospitals in northern New Jersey made urgent requests for more ventilators on Tuesday night, as seven more overcrowded hospitals were forced to divert patients elsewhere.
“Community spread is here in New Jersey, and it’s here to stay for a while,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
Officials say that 5,200 retired, inactive and out-of-state health care workers have signed up to join in the fight against the virus. But they say that more workers will be needed, along with additional equipment.
“Do we have enough ventilators? No. Do we have enough PPE? No. Do we have enough beds? No. Do we have enough health care workers? No. Four emphatic no’s,” Murphy said. “Do we have a plan for each of those? Yes. But we need a lot of things to go right across all four of those dimensions. But we are not where we need to be or have to be.”
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Murphy also announced that he struck a deal with the state’s legislative leaders to postpone the state budget deadline by three months and delay the state income tax deadline to July 15.
“We need all hands on deck to see us through this emergency. We simply do not have the luxury of time,” Murphy said.
State officials do say that New Jersey is making progress toward the 2,000-2,300 additional ventilators that are needed. Two hundred were released from the federal stockpile a few weeks ago and 300 additional ventilators arrived Tuesday morning. Officials also say that 350 more are on the way to New Jersey at the direction of FEMA and the Trump administration.
The governor says that he also has members of his administration looking at the private market in an attempt to buy ventilators.


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