New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy reported 113 more coronavirus-related deaths and 4,372 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 29,895 Friday.
The governor ordered flags lowered to half-staff in order to honor the 646 residents killed by the virus, including Paterson-born jazz great Bucky Pizzarelli, Teaneck humanitarian Janice Preschel and Caldwell middle school principal James Brown.
"This is a war," said Murphy, emphasizing the importance of social distancing. "Wars like this are not won in one day one month or not even a few months."
Of the 3,016 COVID-19 hospitalizations in New Jersey as of Friday, 1,227 -- or 41 percent -- were on ventilators, according to NJ Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.
A report by the CDC showed there were higher percentages of patients with underlying conditions admitted to hospitals and critical care units. Thirty-four percent of the New Jersey residents who died of coronavirus had underlying conditions.
"Smoking might place individuals at higher risk of severe disease and death," Persichilli said.
Social distancing is vital to stopping the spread of COVID-19, Persichilli said, noting it's our "only tool."
The counties with the most number of cases are Bergen (4,866), Essex (3,067), Hudson (2,835), Union (2,487) and Passaic (2,216).
Murphy honored local heroes submitted as part of a new effort to shine a light on good news in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
The governor on Thursday asked anyone with good news to share it on social media using the hashtag #NJThanksYou.
The Holmdel testing site will only be open to healthcare workers and first responders exhibiting symptoms on Saturday, April 4.
Cumberland County opened testing site for residents only at the Rowan College campus.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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