Gov. Murphy urges all New Jersey residents to get tested for COVID-19

Source: njNews12.com

Gov. Phil Murphy is urging all New Jersey residents to get tested for COVID-19 as the state ramps up testing for the most vulnerable.

As the state confirms that mandatory testing at long-term care facilities continues, nearly 1-in-5 inmates at the state’s prisons have tested positive for the virus.

Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli says that the Department of Corrections has tested 8,700 inmates – less than half of the total inmate population in the state. Persichilli says that 19% of the inmates tested have tested positive. Forty-two inmates and one resident of a halfway house have died from coronavirus complications, according to the department.

Officials say that over 700 department staff members have come down with the virus and at least two correctional police officers. The DOC has not made the number of officer deaths public.

Persichilli also said that 8% to 9% of residents in long-term care facilities have tested positive for the virus, as well as 3% to 4% of staff.

The governor says New Jersey surpassed its goal a few days early of conducting at least 20,000 coronavirus tests per day. The state is using the tests as a barometer for reopening the economy. There are currently 164 public and private COVID-19 testing facilities across the state.

“Anyone who wants to be tested can get tested, but we especially want you to get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you’ve had recent contact with someone else who did test positive,” Murphy said. “We have the capacity, we have the partnerships…let’s do this together.”

Health officials are also expected to send mobile testing vans into the state’s urban areas. The program will begin in Atlantic City, Camden, Elizabeth, Newark, Paterson and Trenton.

“Anyone who wants to be tested can get tested, but we especially want you to get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or if you’ve had recent contact with someone else who did test positive,” Murphy said. “We have the capacity, we have the partnerships…let’s do this together.”

Health officials are also expected to send mobile testing vans into the state’s urban areas. The program will begin in Atlantic City, Camden, Elizabeth, Newark, Paterson and Trenton.

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