Report Paints Scathing Picture of Nursing Home Where 17 Bodies Piled Up

By Tracey Tully and 

THE NEW YORK TIMES

May 7, 2020

At least 53 residents at the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center II in New Jersey have died since March after testing positive for the coronavirus.Credit...

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One patient at a troubled nursing home in northern New Jersey was found dead in bed, 12 hours after falling on a wet floor and suffering a head injury. Rigor mortis had set in. The patient had suffered from a high fever for days, but a doctor was never told.

Sick residents who were awaiting the results of coronavirus tests shared rooms with healthy residents.

And thermometers used to take employees’ temperatures at the start of each shift did not work.

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Bridgegate court ruling on Christie allies won’t erase scandal’s 'stain’ on N.J., Murphy says

Posted May 07, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy, who replaced Chris Christie as New Jersey’s governor, said the Bridgegate scandal remains a “stain” that left “a big dent” on public trust in the Garden State even though the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday threw out convictions against two former Christie allies in the high-profile case.

Murphy — a Democrat who succeeded Christie, a Republican, in 2018 — was asked his reaction just hours after the nation’s highest court reversed the sentences against Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni.

“I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t have any comment on the legal aspects of it,” Murphy responded during his daily briefing in Trenton on the coronavirus pandemic.

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10 N.J. Catholic schools to close as officials cite drop in enrollment

Posted May 07, 2020

Ten Catholic schools - nine elementary and one high school around northern New Jersey - will close at the end of the academic year, the Archdiocese of Newark announced Thursday.

Academy of St. Therese of Lisieux in Cresskill, St. Anne School in Fair Lawn, Trinity Academy in Caldwell, Good Shepherd Academy in Irvington, Our Lady Help of Christians School in East Orange, St. James the Apostle School in Springfield, The Academy of Our Lady of Peace in New Providence, Holy Spirit School in Union, St. Genevieve School in Elizabeth and Cristo Rey Newark High School will shut down, according to a news release.

The ten schools will continue online learning through the end of the year, in line with Gov. Phil Murphy’s order aimed at curbing the coronavirus pandemic in the state, officials said

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Rutgers-Eagleton Poll Finds Murphy Ratings Soar Amid Pandemic

Rutgers-Eagleton Poll has found that Gov. Phil Murphy's approval ratings are soaring amid the COVID-19 pandemic
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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Gov. Phil Murphy’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic has catapulted him to one of the most liked governors in New Jersey history, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

Echoing the highs reached by governors Thomas Kean, Christine Todd Whitman and Chris Christie, Murphy’s favorability rating is almost touching the 60% mark (59% favorable to 20% unfavorable). This represents a 16-point increase for Murphy since this time last year. The governor also now beats Christie’s Sandy-fueled job approval high: 77% of New Jerseyans currently approve of the overall job Murphy is doing (a 25-point leap since last year), while 21% disapprove.

Murphy gets high marks from residents specifically on his handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Almost three-quarters give Murphy an ‘A’ (39%) or ‘B’ (33%). Murphy is bested only slightly by his counterpart across the Hudson, Gov. Andrew Cuomo: 51% of Garden Staters give the New York governor an ‘A’ and 25% a ‘B.’ Local officials in New Jersey also receive solid grades from New Jerseyans, with two-thirds awarding their local policymakers an ‘A’ (30%) or ‘B’ (37%).

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N.J. hospitals are among the busiest places in the country right now. So, why are they going broke?

Posted May 06, 2020

Shareef Elnahal knows exactly who is in his hospital.

As another month of the coronavirus pandemic ground to a close last week, about 140 beds at University Hospital in Newark are filled with patients who have either tested positive for COVID-19 disease or are awaiting test results, said Elnahal, the hospital’s president and CEO. Many are fighting for their lives.

But Elnahal also knows exactly who isn’t in his hospital.

Because of a state order banning elective surgeries, no one is getting knee replacements. Few are coming in for routine tests. The dental and ophthalmology clinics are quiet.

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Legislation to combat surprise medical bills benefits greedy insurance companies, hurts the Black community

Posted May 06, 2020

By Jonathan Leath

One of the scariest parts of the crisis of surprise medical billing is that Congress cannot seem to get the fix right, and now they are trying to lump in broken legislation with the coronavirus packages, Pastor Jonathan Leath says.

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During his April 7 press briefing, President Trump spoke on the drastic difference in COVID-19 cases for minorities in this country. At the same briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, responded to this situation by saying, “It’s very sad. It’s nothing we can do about it right now except to try and give them the best possible care to avoid those complications.”

While Black Americans make up only 14% of the population in New Jersey, they’re nearly 20% of the reported COVID-19 deaths. Upon hearing this announcement and these statistics, what pained me the most was that none of this came as a shock to me. Not only was the stark difference in case numbers and fatalities not surprising, neither was the government saying there is “nothing they can do about it.”

What gives me both hope and concern, though, is that New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone heads the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee. On April 15, Pallone wrote to Seema Verma, the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), asking her to release demographic data, saying: “The implications of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minority communities cannot be fully understood or addressed until more comprehensive information, like the vast Medicare billing data available to CMS, is analyzed and publicly released.”

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Don’t rush reopening economy, voters say in poll that favors governors over Trump

Posted May 05, 2020

Preventing the spread of the coronavirus should be the priority over preventing an extended economic downturn, according to a poll released Tuesday.

And Americans were more concerned states would start reopening their economies too soon rather than not quickly enough, according to the Monmouth University Poll.

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N.J. students create nationwide COVID-19 donation database - with extra motivation

Posted May 05, 2020

Seton Hall Prep teacher David Snyder has seen some pretty extraordinary things in his 25 years as an educator.

In the past, his STEM classes launched balloons nearly into outer space and put satellite trackers into the Atlantic Ocean, but nothing compares to what this year’s class has accomplished in the midst of a worldwide crisis.

The coronavirus reached New Jersey in March and hit it hard. Its outbreak caused Gov. Phil Murphy to shut down schools - eventually for the remainder of the school year.

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Newark launches coronavirus testing for city’s entire homeless population

Posted May 04, 2020

In an effort to reach a population particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, Newark began testing its homeless residents for the virus on Monday morning.

The voluntary process launched at an airport hotel that serves as emergency homeless housing for 194 and the goal is to ultimately offer tests to all of the roughly 2,200 homeless people living in the state’s most populous city.

Newark partnered with the hotel operator last month as part of a plan by Mayor Ras J. Baraka to provide short-term housing for the city’s homeless — called “residents without addresses” in Newark — as the pandemic raged around the globe.

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Murphy: New Jersey weeks away from fiscal disaster

By Nikita BiryukovMay 04 2020

New Jersey Globe

Gov. Phil Murphy.

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New Jersey is weeks away from tumbling off a fiscal cliff that could lead to widespread layoffs in state, local and county governments, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

On Monday, the governor rescinded an executive order enacted last year that called on Treasurer Liz Muoio to amass a $1.3 billion surplus by the end of the year.

“Absent significant outside assistance, this surplus is no longer feasible,” the governor said.

While the extent of havoc COVID-19 has wrought on the state budget remains unclear, officials are scaling up warnings about the increasingly-dire state of New Jersey’s finances.

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