By CBS3 Staff


BRIDGETON, N.J. (CBS) — The number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey surged to over 4,400 on Wednesday, after officials announced an additional 736 cases. There are now 4,402 COVID-19 cases in the state as the death toll has climbed to 62, including the first deaths in Burlington and Cumberland Counties.

“These numbers are sobering, but not surprising to us,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during a briefing Wednesday.

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Murphy says the state will need to increase hospital capacity.

“We are in this fight to save lives,” Murphy said.

The governor signed an executive order requiring child care centers to close by April 1 unless they are solely serving children of essential workers.

Over the weekend, Murphy ordered all residents to stay home to limit the spread of the virus.

Burlington County says three Mount Laurel residents died of the virus — the first people in the county to have died from COVID-19. The deaths included an 87-year-old woman, and 85-year-old man and an 80-year-old man.

Cumberland County announced its first coronavirus-related death on Wednesday. Officials say the Bridgeton resident was hospitalized and tested for COVID-19 but died before the positive test results were received.

“It is our understanding that the deceased suffered from other underlying health conditions that put them in a high-risk category,” Cumberland County Health Officer Megan Sheppard said.

The Cumberland County Health Department is working with the state health department to identify the resident’s close contacts.

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“Those identified as a close contact will be notified,” Sheppard said.

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