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Murphy Details Rise In Positive NJ Coronavirus Cases, Testing Sites, PPE

Gov. Phil Murphy displays the latest COVID-19 case and death count. Photo Credit: NJ Governor's Office (screengrab)
Gov. Phil Murphy at his daily coronavirus briefing. Photo Credit: NJ Governor's Office (screengrab)

An additional 69 coronavirus-related deaths brought New Jersey's overall total to 267 since the pandemic began, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday, while promoting the additions of testing sites and protective gear.

Murphy reported 2,196 new COVID-19 cases, bringing New Jersey's total positive cases to 18,696.

The governor specifically mentioned two fatalities, those of Passaic firefighter Israel Tolentino, 33 , and 30-year-old Cliffside Park baseball coach Ben Luderer .

"Our job is to stay at home and flatten the hell out of that curve," Murphy said. "Let's prevent more losses like Israel and Ben....Now is the time to be selfless, not selfish."

On the positive side, Murphy said FEMA delivered 260,000 new pieces of personal protective gear (PPE) including masks and gloves.

State parks officials also located and rounded up more than 10,000 N-95 masks in storage, officials said.

"We appreciate every piece of PPE. . . but we need a lot more,'' Murphy said, encouraging more donations of the gear.

New COVID-19 testing sites -- for residents with serious symptoms -- have opened in Middlesex, Ocean and Camden counties, bringing the statewide total sites to 26, Murphy added

State Health Department Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the state has tested 44,330 residents, primarily at Bergen and Monmouth county sites.

Of those, 17,253 tests were positive for coronavirus, she said -- nearly 39 percent.

At least one positive case has been reported at 81 of the state's 375 long-term care facilities -- up from 43 senior care centers since Friday, Persichilli said.

People seeking tests, or seeking to donate medical equipment should contact their county health department or the state COVID hotline, officials said.

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