PARAMUS, NJ — As New Jersey’s death toll hit a new high Thursday with 460 more reported dead, Governor Phil Murphy visited the White House to pressPresident Donald Trump for financial assistance and expanded coronavirus testing for New Jersey.
The White House has committed to send 550,000 additional COVID-19 test kits and 750,000 swabs to help the state ramp up testing further. Murphy has stated that doubling the state’s testing capacity is vital to reopening the economy.
In the Oval Office, Murphy also told Trump that between lost revenues and the expense of fighting this virus, New Jersey needs $20 billion to $30 billion in federal aide.
“We don’t see it as a bail out, we see this as a partnership,” he told Trump.
Trump did not publicly signal whether he’ll be able to help deliver those funds.
Hospitals in New Jersey are currently working to expand testing for antibodies that can help the critically ill survive the virus.
“We are looking for people that previously had coronavirus. Either they tested positive or had symptoms,” said Mount Sinai Dr. Joshua Shatzkes.
Mount Sinai has partnered with Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck to test volunteers for antibodies.
In Paterson, Mayor Andre Sayegh announced they are moving toward with testing all residents for COVID-19 and they are opening a site to screen 250-people per day outside Barnard Hospital. You must register online at Dokita.io. Testing will be performed 7-days a week, starting on Monday.
Murphy also announced universal testing for inmates and staff in the Department of cCrrections will start at the end of next week and testing for NJ TRANSIT employees will soon be available at the American Dream mall.
New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer and Congressman Bill Pascrell announced Thursday that infectious disease experts are now on the ground at a Veterans Nursing home in Paramus where dozens have died and the entire facility is saturated with the sick.
“We felt let’s bring in every expert we can to try to help and right down the road of course, you’ve got four hospitals that literally have been in the eye of the storm now for 6-weeks looking at thousands and thousands of patients they’ve cared for,” said Congressman Gottheimer.
Hackensack University Medical Center, New Bridge Medical Center, Valley Hospital and Holy Name Hospital have all committed to send in experts to try and help.