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I want to ensure you have the latest information about the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and our work in Congress to ensure the United States is fully prepared to respond to this public health emergency.
Outlook in New Jersey
As of April 2, there are 25,590 confirmed cases and 537 deaths in our state, including 2,459 cases in New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District. While these statistics are tragic, New Jersey has taken swift action to protect its residents.
Governor Murphy has issued a statewide stay-at-home order. You should not leave your home during this time unless it is absolutely necessary. New Jersey, along with New York and Connecticut, have required nonessential businesses like casinos, movie theaters, gyms, hair salons, barber shops remain closed until further notice. Restaurants and bars are limited to take-out and delivery services only. Governor Murphy has also ordered the closure of all public, private, and charter schools as well as institutions of higher learning. While these closures place heavy burdens on all of us, these unprecedented steps are absolutely necessary to safeguard the health of our communities.
With the support of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation, Governor Murphy has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to secure personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and set up field hospitals. As of April 2, New Jersey has received 169,155 N95 respirator masks, 402,959 surgical masks, 76,731 face shields, 62,250 surgical gowns, 222,755 medical gloves, and 850 ventilators from the federal government to support the needs of our first responders, health care workers, and hospitals. Additionally, to expand hospital capacity, the state will soon open a pop-up field hospital with 250 beds at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, with additional sites to follow throughout New Jersey.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in the state, please visit the New Jersey COVID-19 information hub: covid19.nj.gov/
Last week Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The legislation provides new resources to help strained state and local governments as they combat this pandemic; support for hospitals and health care workers on the front lines of this public health crisis; funding to purchase personal protective equipment and much needed medical equipment; support for law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders; funding for scientists researching treatments and vaccines; support for small businesses; support for local schools and universities; and funding for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs. Crucially, this legislation provides relief directly to impacted workers, families, and businesses in the form of immediate economic assistance and extended unemployment benefits.
My office has prepared fact sheets to ensure workers, families, businesses, and health care providers know their options for relief:
Additionally, if you have recently lost health coverage due to job loss of yourself or a family member, you are eligible to enroll in quality, affordable health care through the Affordable Care Act. Go to healthcare.gov to enroll and learn more about qualifying life events that allow you to enroll outside of Open Enrollment.
Testing for COVID-19
If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, contact your primary care provider or make use of the following resources from the state:
- Use the COVID-19 Symptom Checker to determine whether you should seek testing or medical assistance: self.covid19.nj.gov/
- Call (General COVID-19 Questions): 2-1-1 (7am-11pm ET)
- Call (Clinical COVID-19 Questions): 1-800-962-1253 (24/7)
COVID-19 testing centers for those with symptoms of respiratory illness are open in all three counties in New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District. Please read the following information carefully to ensure you're able to receive a test if needed:
- Bergen County: Bergen Community College
- Address: 400 Paramus Road (Paramus Campus - Lots B & C), Paramus, NJ 07652
- Hours: 8:00a-4:00p ET (or until daily test supplies run out)
- What To Know: In order to be eligible for testing, individuals must be current New Jersey residents and experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. Priority will be given to symptomatic individuals experiencing cough, fever (99.6F or above), and shortness of breath.
- Passaic County: William Paterson University
- Address: 300 Pompton Road (Lot 6), Wayne, NJ 07470
- Hours: 9:00a-12:00p ET (or until daily test supplies run out)
- What To Know: The testing center is for Passaic county residents only. You must be showing symptoms or respiratory illness and have a prescription or referral from either your physician or an online medical provider.
- Hudson County: Hudson Regional Hospital
- Address: 55 Meadowlands Parkway, Secaucus, NJ 07094
- Hours: 10a-5:00p ET (or until daily test supplies run out)
- What To Know: This testing center is for Hudson county residents only or first responders experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. You must call ahead of time to set up an appointment at 201-388-1097.
- Bergen County (First Responders & Health Care Workers Only): Bergen New Bridge Medical Center
- Address: 230 East Ridgewood Avenue Paramus, NJ 07652
- Hours: Opens at 8a and closes when daily test supplies run out.
- What To Know: This testing center is for Bergen County First Responders & Health Care Workers only. You must complete the online screening survey to see if you qualify and set up an appointment at: newbridgehealth.org/bergen-covid19-screening
For more information on testing centers throughout the state, please visit the New Jersey testing informational page: covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/general-public/where-and-how-do-i-get-tested-for-covid-19-in-new-jersey-who-should-get-testing
The best way to minimize your risk of infection is practicing good hygiene and social distancing. Our state is taking aggressive steps that we have never seen before, including implementing a statewide stay-at-home order and having nonessential businesses close. If you are able, please do not go outside except if absolutely necessary.
I urge you to take care of your health and protect others with these healthy habits:
- Hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Avoid shaking hands: fist-bump or elbow-bump instead.
- Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue out.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Stay home when you are sick and contact your health care provider immediately if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Earned sick leave is the law in New Jersey.
- Avoid close contact with other individuals, including avoiding gatherings of over 10 people, and keeping 6 feet distance between yourselves.
Routine use of these measures can slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.
We are facing a global pandemic, and ensuring the safety of all families from COVID-19 and its impact on day-to-day life is my top priority. You can always reach me and my staff in Washington at 202-225-5751 or New Jersey at 973-523-5152 for assistance or further guidance. Remember, my door is always open to you. We are all in this together.
Bill Pascrell Jr.
Member of Congress