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SURGE BEGINS: New Jersey Coronavirus Cases Hit 22,255, Seven Hospitals At Capacity

NJ Gov. Phil Murphy
NJ Gov. Phil Murphy Photo Credit: NJ Gov. Phil Murphy

Another 91 deaths coronavirus deaths and more than 3,600 new cases were reported Wednesday in New Jersey, raising the statewide total to 22,255 with 355 fatalities.

Another 350 ventilators were being released to New Jersey in addition to the 300 acquired Tuesday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy said at his daily briefing Wednesday afternoon.

That gives the state 850 additional ventilators, although the governor said more are needed. He promised to keep pressing for the nearly 2,000 that he previously cited as necessary.

North Jersey is already seeing an increasing demand on the healthcare system, the state's health commissioner Judy Persichilli said.

Although the statewide surge was predicted to begin in the second week of April, critical care capacity was anticipated to begin sooner if no more critical care beds were opened, she said.

"The surge is beginning to occur," Persichilli said.

Among the latest developments:

• Seven North Jersey hospitals reported Tuesday night that they were on a divert status, some due to overcrowding in their emergency rooms. Two hospitals required more ventilators, which Persichilli said the state provided.

• Nearly 10 million pieces of personal protective equipment are "beginning to flow into our warehouses" and will soon be given to those working on the frontlines, Murphy said. "There is no price too high to save a life or protect our healthcare workers."

• A drive-through testing site at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel is being closed Thursday, leaving only a site at Bergen Community College in Paramus.

• The New Jersey income tax deadline has been extended to July 15 to match the federal tax filing deadline, Murphy announced.

This is a developing story. Check back for more.

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