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LIVE UPDATES: New Jersey COVID-19 cases up to 176,551, deaths to 13,710

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy speaks about the daily COVID-19 hospitalizations during his Friday, May 29, 2020, press conference at War Memorial in Trenton, NJ, on the State’s response to the coronavirus.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed an executive order creating a Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office and COVID-19 Compliance Task Force to ensure oversight of funds used in the state’s recovery.

“In essence, this new office will replace and assume the responsibilities of the Office of Recovery and Rebuilding established in the wake of Superstorm Sandy,” Murphy said during a briefing with other state officials. “The office will ensure that all funds are expended in compliance with federal rules and regulations and that strategies and policies are aligned across all of our state’s departments.”

He is requiring a “transparency website” to track the office’s progress, along with a yearly report, he said.

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey has increased by 202, bringing the total to 176,551, Murphy said. There have been 20 additional deaths, bringing the state total to 13,710.

There are 1,974 probable deaths, he added.

There are 844 people hospitalized across the state — 397 are known to be COVID-19 positive, while 447 are pending — including 139 people in intensive care and 65 people on ventilators, Murphy said.

So far, Atlantic County has reported 3,199 cases with 224 deaths and 1,819 cleared as recovered. Cape May County has reported 877 cases with 75 deaths and 662 designated off quarantine. Cumberland County has reported 2,564 cases with 141 deaths.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

At the beginning of the briefing, Murphy announced that he signed the “New Jersey COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act,” to secure core services as the state emerges from the pandemic.

“This is obviously not a step that any of us ever wished to have to take,” Murphy said. “Our administration has worked incredibly hard over the past couple of years to point our state in an entirely new fiscal direction.”

The next live briefing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday. 

Atlantic County health officials on Friday reported 20 new cases of COVID-19, but no new deaths.

The new cases include 11 boys and men, ages 4 to 62, and nine girls and women, ages 6 months to 88, according to a news release from county spokeswoman Linda Gilmore. The six-month old is recovering at home.

The cases were found as follows: seven in Hamilton Township, four in Egg Harbor Township, two each in Absecon, Egg Harbor City and Pleasantville, and one each in Galloway, Hammonton and Ventnor, according to the release.

In addition, about 57% of all county residents who tested positive have been cleared as recovered, she said. The county has tested more than 2,300 residents through its testing facility with 78.3% testing negative.

So far, Atlantic County has reported 3,199 cases with 224 deaths and 1,819 cleared as recovered.  Cape May County has reported 877 cases with 75 deaths and 662 designated off quarantine. Cumberland County has reported 2,564 cases with 141 deaths.

Atlantic County will continue to provide COVID-19 testing at its drive-thru facility in Northfield at Rt. 9 and Dolphin Avenue, behind the county public works yard, according to the release. The test site is now available for both symptomatic and asymptomatic county residents with or without a doctor’s prescription. Residents must make an appointment for testing and provide proof of county residency and appointment confirmation.

Testing will next occur on Tuesday, she said. However, barring any cancellations, all slots have been filled.

Officials asked those who are unable to keep their appointments to cancel so others may have an opportunity to fill those spots.

If available, appointments can be made online at A list of additional testing locations in Atlantic County is accessible at

A 88-year-old male and a 91-year-old female were the two latest Cape May County residents to die from a COVID-19 infection, according to information released Friday by the Cape May County Department of Health.

Eight new cases of COVD-19 positive tests were also announced Friday. The communities were: two each in Middle Township and North Wildwood; and one each in Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor, Upper Township and Wildwood Crest, the health department said.

The total positive cases of COVID-19 infection in Cape May County is now 885, including 77 deaths, the health department said. Additionally, there are 13 new out-of-county positive cases.

New Jersey has 176,551 total COVID-19 positive cases and 13,710 deaths.

The Cape May County 4-H Fair that had been scheduled to take place from July 16 through 18 was canceled in accordance with Rutgers Cooperative Extension directives related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At this time, all in-person events, classes, programs, club meetings, camps and other group activities organized by or under the auspices of Rutgers Cooperative Extension continue to be suspended at least through Aug. 31.

4-H faculty, staff and key volunteers worked together to create a New Jersey 4-H Virtual Fair for youth to showcase what they have learned and have their exhibits evaluated.

Detailed information and instructions are available on the 4-H Virtual Fair website 

The Middle Township Police Department on Friday announced that it is posting the township's National Night Out event to Oct. 6.

According to the news release, the department is following the recommendation of of the national organizers of National Night Out.

"National Night Out enhances the relationship between the residents of Middle Township and law enforcement while bringing a true sense of community," Police Chief Christopher Leusner said in the release. "Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and residents together under positive circumstances. We look forward to hosting the 2020 National Night Out in October."

Rainbow Pediatrics is now offering drive-up COVID-19 testing for pediatric patients of the practice that provides results within 15 minutes of testing, the business said Friday.

Testing is available to all children with an appointment, according to a news release. Testing will be performed in the parking lots as well as in the exam rooms at its Clermont, Egg Harbor Township and Rio Grande offices during select office hours Monday through Friday. Appointments can be made by calling 609-624-9003.

“If parents are concerned that their children have been exposed to COVID-19 or they are presenting symptoms, we encourage them to be tested here, where results will be offered in about 15 minutes,” said Rainbow Pediatrician Dr. Thomas Dierkes. “We are pleased to offer this testing with such quick results to help ease parents’ concerns.”

For more information about Rainbow Pediatrics visit or call 609-624-9003.

Fantasy Island Amusement Park in Beach Haven, Ocean County, is open with safety restrictions.

“We missed our guests,” says Brian Wainwright, CEO. “The safety of our guests and team members has always been our first priority, and we understand in these challenging times that it’s more important than ever to focus on how we can create a safe and fun environment for families.”

Safety guidelines include:

  • All guests & team members over the age of 2 must wear a mask in all areas of the park.
  • There are handwashing stations and hand sanitizing stations located around the park.
  • There are social distancing reminders on the ground and signs reminding guests to respect each other’s space.
  • The arcade installed plexiglass barricades in between games.
  • Team members are disinfecting high-touch surfaces on a strict cleaning schedule.
  • On rides, high-touch surfaces such as seats and restraints are being cleaned after each rider exits.
  • The park has invested in new FDA-approved sanitation equipment that allows us to disinfect every ride, game and surface every day.
  • All registers are equipped with contactless payment.
  • Cards can be purchased online before visiting.
  • Guests can utilize the park’s online redemption catalog to redeem their arcade tickets from the comfort of their own homes.

“We want our guests to feel safe and comfortable when they visit,” said Wainwright. “We will be here, operating safely, and ready for their return when they feel it’s appropriate.”

State officials scheduled a 1 p.m. briefing Friday to update residents on the spread of COVID-19.

Appearing for the briefing will be Gov. Phil Murphy, Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, Department of Health Communicable Disease Service Medical Director Dr. Edward Lifshitz and State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

PHOTOS from the procession of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Hammonton

Contact: 609-272-7241

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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