May 28, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

 5/28/2020 12:28 PM

1.2 million workers have applied for state unemployment benefits over the past ten weeks. Number of critical care patients is far below mid-April peaks. State provides guidance on graduation ceremonies. Will schools reopen this fall?

Bad News - Over the past ten weeks, nearly 1.2 million workers who lost their jobs or had their hours reduced have applied for unemployment benefits in New Jersey, the state Labor Department announced this morning. In a good trend, the 34,410 new applicants in the week ending Saturday was the lowest weekly total since mid-March. Employees in casinos, retailers, food service contractors, restaurants, and airlines continue to be the hardest-hit. 
 
Good News - New Jersey hospitals reported having 768 patients in critical care and 583 on ventilators yesterday, both far below mid-April peaks. “We are now well past the peak,” Gov. Murphy said. (nj.com) 
 
Get Tested - Gov. Murphy encouraged more New Jerseyans to get tested for the coronavirus as he announced the state reached its goal of testing at least 20,000 residents a day by the end of May — a step officials say is crucial in further reopening the economy. (nj.com) 
 
Details On Modified Graduation Ceremonies - Students must stay six feet apart, schools may consider barring guests, and districts should consider checking temperatures of every person who attends, according to state guidance issued yesterday. (nj.com) 
 
Thanks, But No Thanks - In-person graduations in July? Some New Jersey schools won’t do it, even with Gov. Murphy’s blessing. (nj.com) 
 
The Graduates - On in-person graduation ceremonies, “This is the last time we can be together, and this is turning a new page,” said one high school senior. (NJTV News) 
 
Next Question: Will Kids Be Back In School This Fall - New Jersey could have a decision by mid-June on when the state will reopen schools to students, Gov. Murphy said. (nj.com) 
 
Many Questions - If New Jersey schools are going to reopen in September, the planning must start now, and the list of issues that need to be addressed is daunting. (NJ Spotlight) 
 
What Will The Kids Do This Summer - On childcare, summer camps and youth sports, Gov. Murphy said yesterday: "I have a high degree of confidence, assuming the numbers keep going in the right direction, we can have summer camp ... and I would also add to that day care (and) youth sports. I just can't tell you when."  
 
Summer at Great Adventure - Empty rows on roller coasters and temperature screenings. Six Flags unveils the future of theme parks. (nj.com) 
 
The Pandemic’s Rude Treatment of Public Pensions - Following the first ten months of the fiscal year, the value of New Jersey's public-worker pension funds in April dropped to $74 billion, down almost $6 billion. (NJ Spotlight) 
 
Buy From New Jersey Businesses - To promote the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce's ‘Buy NJ’ campaign, put this 'postcard' on your website and share it on social media with the hashtags #BuyNJ and #BuyLocalNJ.
 
Tell the State What You Think - The state is requesting your input to better understand how to help businesses get back to work safely and productively. By filling out this online survey, you will help guide the state’s reopening strategy and upcoming business assistance opportunities. 
 
Get Counted – New Jersey residents can respond to the 2020 Census to ensure the state gets its fair share of federal funding. The Census provides valuable data for businesses, including population trends, growth projections and demographic information. Spread the word! Respond to the Census.
 
N.J. Coronavirus Cases - New Jersey Residents
 
Total Deaths Reported: 11,339, up from 11,191 yesterday.
Total Positive COVID-19 Tests Reported: 156,628, up from 155,764 yesterday.
For data on hospitalizations and discharges, click here.
 
* Resources from NJ Chamber of Commerce