CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS/AP) — The number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey are nearing 19,000. An additional 2,196 coronavirus cases were reported Tuesday as the statewide total rose to 18,696. Gov. Phil Murphy says there are now 267 deaths across the state.
Camden County announced three more deaths Tuesday night, bringing the county total to six. Officials say a woman in her 90s, a woman in her 50s and a man in his 60s have all died from the virus.
The death toll is a reminder that the best thing residents can do is to continue to avoid social interactions, Murphy said.
“I cannot be any clearer in my call: Stay at home before this hits home. Please do your part to flatten this curve,” Murphy said during Tuesday’s briefing.
UPDATE: We’ve received 2,196 new positive #COVID19 cases since yesterday, bringing our statewide total to 18,696.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 31, 2020
Thirty-three-year-old Israel Tolentino Jr., a Passaic firefighter, was one of the 69 people who died of the virus yesterday. He was a firefighter for one year and had also served as an EMT.
“This is a reality for all of us. This is not abstract no matter how good our health is, no matter how young we might be,” Murphy said.
Nearly 20% of COVID-19 deaths are linked to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. So the state announced new requirements to have all staff wear masks, and isolating sick patients in separate areas of facilities.
The federal government sent a fourth shipment of personal protective equipment for health workers, Murphy said. The 260,000-piece shipment included gloves and masks.
Murphy has said the state needs ventilators and the protective equipment more than anything else.
Meanwhile, a coronavirus testing site is set to open in Camden County on Wednesday. The drive-thru testing site is going to be at Cooper’s Poynt Waterfront Park in Camden.
“Additional testing is good because it allows us to identify who has been infected, put them in isolation and begin addressing this curve,” Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said.
It will be open Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. through April 15.
Health officials said the site will be open to county residents who have symptoms and have received a referral for testing from a medical provider at Cooper, Virtua, CamCare, or another provider.
For more on the coronavirus, click here.
CBS3’s Cleve Bryan contributed to this report.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)