Coronavirus COVID-19 file art

State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli released data on long term care facilities Monday, showing the total number of cases and deaths at each by county.

It showed 8 such facilities in Atlantic County have 59 cases and 7 deaths, with Linwood Care Facility in Linwood reporting the largest number of cases at 17 and 1 death; and Egg Harbor Care Center in Egg Harbor Township the largest number of deaths at 5 with 12 cases. There are 427 cases in Atlantic County as of today.

In Cape May County 4 long term care facilities reported 59 cases and 9 deaths, with Genesis Health Care Victoria Manor in North Cape May reporting 52 of the cases and all 9 deaths in the county.

As of Monday, there were 217 cases of COVID-19 in Cape May County and 15 total deaths, the county reported.

In Cumberland County there have been 3 cases in 2 long term care facilities and no deaths there. There were 317 cases in total in Cumberland County and 4 total deaths countywide, as of Monday.

Statewide long term care facilities account for 40 percent of the state's overall COVID deaths, according to the state.

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New Jersey reported 3,528 new COVID-19 test results on Monday, bringing the statewide total to 88,806. There are 6,986 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, 2,018 patients in critical or intensive care, 1,594 on ventilators  and 74 patients are patients at field medical stations. There were 583 New Jerseyans discharged from hospitals, Gov. Phil Murphy reported at his daily briefing.

"The number of newly hospitalized patients is moving on a downward trend," Murphy said Monday. "This is one of our most-important positive indicators. It means that our health care system is in a better position to get ahead and stay ahead. It means that our social distancing efforts are working."

There have been 177 new deaths, bringing the state's total to 4,377 deaths due to COVID-19. The data now includes numbers from long-term care facilities, Murphy said.

Atlantic County health officials confirmed 21 more positive cases on Monday. Total cases countywide are 427. The number of fatalities related to COVID-19 remains at 19 with no additional deaths reported.

Of the new cases, six residents are from Egg Harbor Township, three each from Atlantic City and Galloway and two  are from Estell Manor. One new resident tested positive in Brigantine, Hammonton, Linwood, Northfield, Pleasantville, Somers Point and Ventnor.

Atlantic County will resume drive-thru testing for symptomatic, county residents with a doctor’s prescription on Tuesday and  Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing. In addition to the doctor’s prescription, residents must also provide proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or utility bill and an appointment confirmation. Appointments can be made online at: www.aclink.org.

There are 317 confirmed cases in Cumberland County. There are four deaths.

"In the coming days, I will announce the benchmarks we will need to see to reopen our state," Murphy said. "Do not think for one minute that we’re going to be able to flip a switch and return to life as we knew it. We will be careful and we will be strategic. This is a two-part scenario – securing the public health situation so you can have confidence as you get back as we reopen our economy. Right now, that confidence does not exist.

"Personal health creates economic health," he added. "It can’t be the other way around. It has to happen in that order."

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In response to growing concerns about financial strains on local governments, Gov. Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (I-Bank) implemented a municipal bond note program which will help mitigate financial impacts on municipal governments. The I-Bank program will have a $50 million liquidity investment.

“Governor Murphy and I are grateful that New Jersey’s I-Bank is able to step up in these uncertain times to help maintain fiscal solvency in all 565 of our municipalities,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver. “This investment will help calm concerns in our local government units about market volatility. DCA is proud to partner with I-Bank and the New Jersey Department of Treasury to promote economic stability as we ride out this unprecedented crisis.”

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The Hispanic Association of Atlantic County, in collaboration with several other community organizations, will host the first of two food distributions on Tuesday aimed at helping the diverse working-class communities of Atlantic City’s 4th, 5th and 6th ward fight against food insecurity and financial hardship due to the recent COVID-19 crisis.

This food distribution was made possible by a grant received from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

The first upcoming food distribution will be held on the outside grounds of the Boys and Girls Club, located at 215 N. Sovereign Avenue and seeks to provide resources to feed 500 families that day, beginning at noon and on a first come, first served basis.

Community outreach for the upcoming food distribution has largely been focused on the Latino community of Atlantic City, which includes an undocumented population that currently does not qualify for any form of federal relief that has been established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A second food distribution is also in the works. This upcoming food distribution will also feed 500 families and will be scheduled for the first week of May.

Tentatively, this second food distribution will be held at the Our Lady Star of the Sea parking lot in the 4th ward of Atlantic City.

Every family that attends these food distributions will receive a large bag of essential food items that have been obtained from La Villita Market and La Boom Market, two of the city’s Latino food markets.

Additionally, early attendees will also receive a supplemental food voucher valued at $30 that can be redeemed for predetermined perishable food items at partnered stores.

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The New Jersey Office of Attorney General will hold a virtual town hall on Wednesday at 12 p.m. to discuss available services for victims and survivors of assault and domestic violence.

“We will not allow the very necessary social distancing measures we have in place right now to hinder our community engagement efforts, or keep us from helping victims by either assisting them directly or connecting them with the resources they need,” said Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. “We want people to understand that if they’re in crisis or being victimized, help is available now. Victims should not assume that access to services is restricted because of social distancing, or that people are too consumed with COVID-related issues to help them.”

The town hall is a part of a four-part series discussing law enforcement’s response to the pandemic, fraud detection strategies and access to recovery and addiction services.

To register for the town hall, click here.

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The Barnegat Township Resident Recycling Facility hours are Monday - Friday 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. until further notice.

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Sixteen Cumberland County nonprofits were awarded grant funding to help feed the needy during the COVID-19 outbreak. The M25 Initiative awarded more than $20,000 in grant funding to Pope Francis Food Pantry, St. Vincent de Paul Society: Good Shepherd Dining Room, First Wesleyan Church Food Pantry, Church of the Resurrection/St Andrew's Episcopal Church, First United Methodist Church of Millville, Bethany SDA Church, The Puerto Rican Action Committee of SNJ, Bethany Grace Community Church. Manna From Heaven, Gateway Community Action Partnership (Tri-County Community Action Agency Inc.), Vineland Soup Kitchen-Spirit & Truth Ministries, St Paul Missionary Baptist Church. Help and Hope Ministries Inc., The Salvation Army or both Bridgeton and Vineland, and Margaret A. White Women’s Missionary Society at Trinity AME Church.

Donations can be made online at www.m25initiative.org/donate, or by mail: M25 Initiative, 31 N. Pearl St., Bridgeton, NJ 08302.

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St. Augustine Preparatory School in Buena announced Sunday that it will finish the academic year online.

"This early decision to remain in a cyber learning environment is the result of our mission to protect the health, well being and safety of the community. In addition, the announcement will remove all of the unknowns and assist us in planning the academic focus of the school," said Robert Murray, head of the school, in a statement.

The school year has also been extended by one week "in order to provide students with additional instruction and review" as class sessions have only met twice a week over the last month.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced last week that all public schools throughout the state will remain closed until at least May 15 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania has closed schools through the rest of the year.

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Gov. Phil Murphy will tour the field medical station at the Atlantic City Convention Center on Tuesday morning in Atlantic City.

“By working collaboratively with our partners at the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, New Jersey State Police, and the Office of Emergency Management, we’ve significantly expanded our hospital beds, sourcing capabilities, and health care workforce to prepare New Jersey for a surge in COVID-19 cases,” Murphy said. “This whole-of-government approach will relieve pressure on New Jersey’s health care delivery system and save lives.”

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The Community Food Bank of New Jersey has partnered with UNITE HERE! Local 54 to provide food for casino workers. All Atlantic City casinos have been temporarily shut down since mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Casino workers can pick up food at a drive-thru distribution center on April 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of Harbor Square Mall (formerly the Shore Mall) in Egg Harbor Township. Casino employees must showed a valid casino ID and have their trunk cleared for prepackaged boxes.

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GAS PRICES CONTINUE TO DROP

New Jersey gas prices have fallen about three cents per gallon in the past week, for an average of $2.04 per gallon, according to GasBuddy, a tech company that analyzes real-time fuel prices. After surveying more than 3,500 gas stations, Gas Buddy found that gas prices in New Jersey are 24.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and about 77 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

The cheapest gallon of gas in the state is priced at $1.53 per gallon, while the most expensive is $3.79 per gallon. The national average price of gas has dropped five cents per gallon in the last week, 33 cents per gallon from a month ago and $1.06 per gallon lower than a year ago, according to a Gas Buddy report.

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Gov. Phil Murphy will give his daily COVID-19 briefing on Monday at 2 p.m. The briefing can be watched here.

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All campgrounds in Cape May County are closed with the following exceptions:   

People who have year-round residential leases and use the campground address as their permanent residence or campgrounds where campsite owner has a deed for the site.

Mobile home parks where people have yearly leases are not campgrounds and therefore are not subject to any restrictions.

 “I understand that we are all living under stressful and confusing times and having a myriad of temporary restrictions can add to that confusion," said Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland. "I ask that everyone recognize that the overall purpose of the COVID-19 restrictions is to prevent the spread of the virus and hopefully allow us to be open for business and return to a more normal everyday lifestyle sooner.   Although due to certain exceptions people from out of this area may be able to come to and use their properties, that is no reason to personally attack them; and in return we ask that they respect the purpose of the restrictions and if they come to our area that they shelter in place as much as possible."

Contact: 609-272-7239

CFairfield@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPress_CJ

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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