Governor Phil Murphy: Good afternoon. I'm honored to be joined by the woman who needs no introduction to my right, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli. To her right, another familiar face, the Department of Health's Communicable Disease Service Medical Director, Dr. Ed Lifshitz, great to have you both. To my left, another guy who needs no introduction, the Superintendent of the State Police, Colonel Pat Callahan; Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Jared Maples, good afternoon.
Today, by the way, folks, is our 98th briefing together, not that we're counting. Um, I will start today with my reaction to U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's proposed stimulus bill, which refuses to offer any additional support to states. By the way, the fact that I said Republican leader is only to designate that they are in the majority in the Senate. I promise you I would be saying the same thing if the leadership were in Democratic hands and they put forth a similar bill.
So, and it is this. This is a slap in the face of every governor across the country, Republican and Democrat, who have shouldered the responsibility of responding to this pandemic. Even with the hard-fought flexibility for the $2.4 billion that we received from the CARES Act's Coronavirus Relief Fund, a fight by the way which was not only hard, but in which we had to take it up directly with the Trump Administration. And that was under Senator McConnell's plan, there would be zero flexibility with any new funding to come. Zero.
What New Jersey has gotten back is a drop in the bucket compared to our needs. Moreover, you would be hard pressed to find a state anywhere that would say differently. Because of this pandemic, we are undergoing a historic fit of fiscal crisis, the likes of which has only happened twice in our state's 244-year history, as I've said here many times, the Civil War and the Great Depression. In May we projected that this pandemic would dig a $9.9 billion budget hole by June of next year. And by the way, we're not alone. The nonpartisan and very responsible Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that nationwide, states are staring down a combined hole of $555 billion US dollars by fiscal year 2022.
We have slashed planned spending to enact an austere stopgap budget and we dipped into the rainy day fund just to get us through the next two months. We have directed all state departments to plan for 15% budget cuts starting this fall. In the meantime, we cannot ignore our current needs. Meeting sharply increased costs for emergency response, public education, public transit, small business aid and the full range of social services that our residents rely upon.
School funding is especially critical, because we cannot fully support our districts in their plans for the upcoming school year without help from Washington. We are staring directly at a $1 billion cut in aid to our public schools, and will have to further cut operating aid to our struggling colleges and universities which, by the way, have already cut by nearly $200 million.
Over the past five months, more than 120,000 New Jerseyans have lost their health insurance and the costs of Medicaid will go up. We cannot lose one penny of essential federal aid to support these residents. And given that we are facing both a healthcare and an unemployment crisis, it would be beyond cruel to see them cut out.
The House of Representatives, on the other hand, would protect these residents, as well as those in long-term care facilities and residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities, through the HEROS Act that it has passed. But Senator McConnell's bill would leave them, and millions of others, out in the stifling summer heat to wither. We will do everything we can to get the message through to Senator McConnell that his plan would hurt the very people who are going to rebuild this country stronger after this pandemic passes. He has my word on that.
By the way, a guy elected to the Senate in 1984, meaning he came into office in January '85, so I can say safely for 35 – the past 35 years, Senator McConnell has never had to balance a budget.
Next, I want to clarify the Executive Order I issued on Monday which allowed for control drills and practices to resume for high-risk sports and activities, and I'm doing this clarification to allay any confusion. First off, this order requires that all contact activities can only be conducted outside, in the open air. We have been very clear throughout our restart that we have greater confidence in the ability to keep residents safe when activities are conducted outside, whether that be exercising or dining or whatever it might be. That's not to say the virus isn't on the outside. It is. You can't let your hair down completely. You've got to be responsible, but we have a lot more latitude outside than inside.
Further with respect to martial arts studios, which are classified as indoor recreational facilities, they may conduct non-contact classes at up to a maximum of 25% capacity, so long as everyone is masked and keeping social distances, and there cannot be any contact drills or sparring while indoors. Other activities that fall into the definition of indoor recreation include yoga and Pilates studios which are not licensed health clubs. But again, they can only be opened to 25% of capacity, must observe social distancing, and all participants, including instructors, must be masked. Facilities that are licensed health clubs can only open their indoor areas for one-on-one individualized training, or from small groups of one family.
We know everyone wants to get back to their old workout routines, but we have been clear through the guidance we have released that outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities, and that spans everything from exercise to dining. And where we can believe that activities can be done safely indoors with social distancing and masking we have allowed for those activities to resume with limited capacities. But in the instance of contact-related activities, they must be conducted outdoors.
Before I go on to our next topic, I have to say in the category of exercise, Pat and Judy, I attended yet another very short visit but another magical visit to the Last Dance World Series. In this case in Bridgewater, home of the Somerset Patriots, a fantastic minor league ballpark. I Saw Cranford hold on to beat Montclair and wasn't able to stay for Woodridge against Delbarton, which Delbarton ended up winning. But this series is magical, 500-person capacity, everybody face covering. Not most, everybody. And the reason is they've got gates around that park so you couldn't just wander up as you could at a rec field, and the atmosphere was fantastic. It was, I think the heat index was triple digits, I have to say that, but it was magical.
So next, switching gears, the list of states from which travelers to New Jersey are being advised to observe a 14-day self-quarantine period has been updated, and a total of 31 states are now on that list. Again, states on this list have either, and importantly Judy would want me to say, over a seven-day rolling average. This is not picking on a state that has a bad day here or there. That they have either more than 10 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 residents or a daily positivity which is greater than 10%. Visit covid19.nj.gov/travel for the complete list of states and to learn whether you should be self-quarantining. If you are arriving from one of these states, use your smartphone to fill out the travel survey, which is available through this page as well.
We continue to ask everyone who has been in one of these 31 impacted states to practice self-responsibility and good citizenship and comply with our travel advisory. This goes equally, by the way, whether you are a visitor to our state or a New Jersey resident returning from one of these states.
And, on the subject of testing, we encourage everyone, residents and visitors alike, to get tested and to know whether or not you may be carrying this coronavirus, especially if you are a younger person, more likely to be an asymptomatic carrier. Please take a moment to go to another familiar site, covid19.nj.gov/testing to find a testing site nearest to you, then go out and get tested. As we've said before, getting tested gives you peace of mind that you are not unknowingly carrying this virus and can spread it among your family and friends. And getting tested also gives us the data we need to be able to stamp out flare ups, and to better guide our restart and recovery. And by the way, we'll be talking about testing data I know in a minute, and the testing capacities and supplies nationwide are under extreme stress, and we're not immune to that, so the turnaround time continues to be a lot longer, I think, than Judy, Ed, Pat or I would like, that's for sure. But that does not mean you should not go out and get tested. Get tested. We're working morning, noon and night and as hard as we can to shrink those turnaround times to back where they were a month or so ago when we were first in the nation on that front.
So speaking of testing, and in Monmouth County, officials have partnered with the Grumman Foundation to provide free coronavirus testing at locations in Asbury Park, Freehold Borough, Keansburg, Neptune, Long Branch, and right across the river from me, Red Bank. Anyone can simply walk up and get tested. No appointment is needed, and tests will be offered six days a week and will rotate from town to town. For more information on the schedule for individual test sites, please go to visit monmouth.com. And again, our thanks to Monmouth County officials, starting with Freeholder Director and dear friend Tom Arnon and the Grumman Foundation, which does great work all the time, but in particular, in this case, for working together to put this testing program in motion.
And by the way, whether it's in Monmouth County or your county, we have the testing capacity. The turnaround time to get your results is the challenge. That's a national challenge, but the capacity in this state is as good as any capacity in any state in America, so we've got that. We just need you to go out and get tested. Again, go to covid19.nj.gov/testing and then go get tested.
Now with that, Judy, let's check out the results of the latest round of testing and see the overnight numbers. I think I want to say upfront, again, there's some noise in these numbers. Again, beyond our control, but Judy and team are working every morning, noon and night to get some of this resolved.
First, we're reporting another 390 positive test results for a statewide total of 177,645 since test 1 on March 4th. We know one thing. We do have at least 390 new positive cases. There may be some number or more from the past couple of days -- that's almost 400, folks. So the folks out there who think that we're in the end zone and we can spike the football and do a touchdown celebration, we're not there. We're just not there. Now, we're a lot better than we were but we're just not there yet.
The daily percent positivity for tests recorded on July 18, that was Saturday, 2.48%. I think, Judy, you and I discussed earlier, we have no reason to believe that that's not accurate, that the pool of tests that we may still be having data issues with would give us a result different than this. We're still showing a rate of transmission, or RT for New Jersey at 0.90. I want to warn that that may not actually, given the data challenges that the country is having and some of these labs are having, we're not as sure about that, as we are about the spot positivity. We think it is in the range of where it's been. We wouldn't put the number up there if we didn't think that was approximately correct, but I'm going to use the word approximate today, just because there's enormous amount of stress on labs and there is clearly some data distortion.
As we note every day, daily positivity and rate of transmission are among, if not the best, indicators related to the continuing spread of coronavirus. As I said on Monday, a couple of days ago, we noted there have been issues with results coming from one of the private labs, and that that issue may be impacting not just our case count, but again, I think Judy, you think that's in the few hundred over a number of days, but also less likely spot positivity, but rate of transmission.
As we know more about this and as backlog results come in, obviously we will update the data as we report accordingly and Judy will give you some more color. However, no matter what the numbers say, there is no reason for us to give up one bit on our social distancing or in our need for you all and all of us to wear our face coverings when out in public. In fact, these practices are how we are keeping these numbers as low as they are. So folks, let's keep them low.
In our hospitals as of last night, we had 873 patients statewide, 423 of whom have tested positive for COVID-19 and 450 of whom are listed as persons under investigation pending the return of their tests. There were 151 individuals requiring intensive care, 77 required ventilators. Overall, our hospital trends continue in the right direction but we know we are not out of the woods yet and we still must remain vigilant so we do not experience a rebound of COVID-19.
Sadly, with the heaviest of hearts, today we report an additional 24 deaths statewide who have now been confirmed to have been from COVID-19 related causes. Of the confirmed deaths we are announcing today, Judy, I've only got one that has occurred in the month of July. Does that sound right to you? And Judy will give you more color. Again, we are incredibly proud, Ed is right in the middle of this, of the diligence with which the solemn responsibility of assigning cause of death and matching that up with death certificates and the loss of life. I don't think any state in America takes this as seriously as New Jersey does. But that can take time. If you take it that seriously, it can take time. Judy will give you a little bit more color in terms of what that actually looks like, but the fact of the matter is, it means that we report, at least these days with the numbers having come so far down, a far more conservative number than is the reality of exactly who is passing right now.
But in any case, those persons are gone, 24 persons more are gone, 13,787 lab-confirmed loss of life to COVID-19, and probable cases and folks who have passed another 1,920. It may take longer. We may be more conservative as a result, but I want to underscore that every one of those persons has left us. Let's remember, as we do every day, a few more of the extraordinary New Jerseyans we have lost.
We'll begin in Wyckoff in Bergen County to remember Alban and Gertrude Albert. They went by Al on the right and Sue on the left. They were married, Pat and Judy and Ed, for 67 years and they passed away within eight days of each other. Sue was born in Fairport, New York. She was her high school valedictorian, and at a time when women weren't expected to seek a higher education, she attended Oberlin College where she received a degree in religion, and then the Union Theological Seminary where she received a master's in Christian education. With her degrees in hand, she came to New Jersey to work as a youth director at the Paterson YWCA. And it was there that she met Al, who at the time was teaching an evening painting class for adults. They were married five years before my birth in 1952. My Lord.
Sue taught elementary school in Ramsey, but left the classroom to raise her and Al's family. But teaching never left her and later in life, she became director of Christian education and worked to develop religious curriculum for the church youth at the Westside Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, of which she was a member for 45 years. She also went back to Union Theological Seminary and in 1991 got her second master's degree, this time in divinity. Sue not only loved music, but she could play multiple instruments, her favorite being the cello, and she was a longtime member of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra. She was an award-winning photographer and a past president and member of the Ridgewood Camera Club. She had so many passions from gardening to the New York Times crossword to her and Al's summer home in Maine that became a family getaway and compound.
Al was a Jersey guy from the start, born and raised in Paramus. Following his graduation from Ridgewood high school he joined the army as a member of our Greatest Generation and served in the Philippines during World War II. Being stationed there left a lifelong impression and he sponsored Filipino children through the World Vision organization for the rest of his life. Back in New Jersey, after the war, he furthered his education at the Mechanics and Tradesmen Institute in New York City, as well as at the Pratt Institute, and started a career in commercial design and advertising. Art was always a big part of Al's life. He was teaching art when he met Sue and after they were married, he earned his bachelor's degree in art education cum laude from the Ohio State University. Years later, he got a master's in fine art from Montclair State. Al was hired as one of the original faculty members of Ramapo Regional High School and worked there for almost 30 years, retiring as the head of the art department. He also taught at the Ridgewood Art Institute, where he previously had been a student, by the way, and served as the institute's president from 1962 to 1964. Painting was his first passion and his work won awards, but inspiring his students and instilling a love of the arts in them was its equal.
Al and Sue leave behind their son Ken and daughters Heidi and Karen, and I had the great honor of speaking with both Heidi and Karen a couple of days ago, along with their spouses and their seven grandchildren. So they had to hold a virtual service, memorial service, for Al and Sue as so many families have. And Heidi and Karen said the only silver lining to this was that a lot more people could participate. Folks who were probably some cases too old to travel, or otherwise would not have been there were there virtually. They hired a cellist who played, among other songs, the theme from Swan Lake, which if you don't know that song, it will bring tears to your eyes, even if it's not at a memorial service. And while the cellist plays, they showed Al's art. So the homage to her for the cello and to him for the art selections. Extraordinary. Our state's glow dimmed just a bit with the loss of these two compassionate and incredibly creative people, but their memory will light the way forward. May God bless and watch over them both.
We'll stay in Bergen County to remember Dr. Deborah Kantor Naglor of Teaneck. Born and raised in the Midwest, she was a leading educator and author of Jewish studies. She held an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and her full doctorate in educational technology leadership from New Jersey City University, which she earned, by the way, just two years ago at the age of 64. Among her many teaching and leadership credits, Deborah led educational programs at both the Bergen County and Metro West Jewish Federations. She was the first Orthodox Jewish woman on the board of the National Conference For the Advancement of Jewish Education, the manager of technology for the distance learning cantorial program at Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, and the leader of the education department at Hadassah, the Jewish sisterhood. She was also a passionate Breast Cancer Awareness advocate, a cause she took on after learning that she carried the gene mutation that left her susceptible for the disease and underwent preventative surgery that saved her from the ravages of cancer.
She was survived by her husband Fred, with whom I had the great honor of speaking on Monday, as well as by her daughter's Shira and Hannah and her stepdaughter Cheryl Aviva Yayale and stepson Yoni. Deborah also leaves 28 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, her brothers and many nieces and nephews. We are forever honored that Deborah called New Jersey her home, a true woman of valor. May her memory be a blessing.
For every family who has been impacted by COVID-19 in the worst way, we hope that for them, the memories of their loved ones become a blessing. And for all of us, may their memories be the reason why we continue our work to stop the spread of this disease so fewer and fewer families have to experience the loss that so many thousands have now lived.
Let's move on, if I can. Each day over the past number of weeks, we've been highlighting the small businesses with which we have partnered through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, so we can all come out of this pandemic stronger and more resilient. But today, we're celebrating a nonprofit organization whose very foundation built on the words strength and resilience. Verona-based Backpacks For Life was started by Marine veteran Brett D'Alessandro and Alexa Modero, and I had the great honor of speaking with them on Monday as well. It was founded to manufacture backpacks to help Brett's fellow veterans who found themselves homeless to survive and get off the streets. When the pandemic hit, along with, by the way, the shortages that we all know in personal protective equipment, they partnered with United States Manufacturing Company and switched their short-term manufacturing focus to creating surgical masks and distributing them across New Jersey and New York. Yet all the while they maintained their core mission of finding housing for homeless veterans, providing groceries for at-risk veterans and donating supplies to support those in need.
Now Backpacks For Life is also providing isolation gowns for the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs and the guy to my left will remind us that isolation gowns have turned into a big area of shortage in our personal protective equipment array. Thanks to a grant from the EDA for home-based nonprofits, Backpacks For Life has been able to continue its work during a time when in-person fundraisers and events had been canceled. And both of them, Brett and Alexa, went through that strain with me on the phone.
This fall, Backpacks For Life will be rolling out an online search platform specifically designed to help veterans find programs and resources tailored to their needs. It's called ROGER in uppercase, customized for veterans of New Jersey to help expedite the process of finding programs, resources and care tailored, again, to their individual needs. To Brett and Alexa, we cannot say enough about your commitment to the heroes who have worn our nation's uniforms and the everyday heroes who have helped us through this pandemic. We are proud to have Backpacks For Life among our New Jersey family and we look forward to your continued success.
And with that, there's really not much else to say, except for everyone to keep up your great work, to keep your social distancing, to keep wearing your face masks, to keep washing your hands with soap and water. Stay away from folks if you don't feel well. Go get tested and remember, we are all in this together. With that, please help me welcome the woman who needs no introduction, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli.
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: Thank you, Governor and good afternoon. Well, today I'd like to provide an update on the department's achievements in implementing the recommendations in the Manatt report released on June 3rd. The report provides 35 near-term recommendations, and we will be implementing 17 of these measures by the end of July. We are following a three-stage approach to implementing the recommendations and launching additional initiatives to strengthen long-term care resiliency in the state.
The department has completed infection control focused surveys in 449 facilities, including 369 nursing homes, 46 assisted livings, six dementia care homes, two specialty hospitals, 17 end-stage renal dialysis centers, five ambulatory surgery centers, and four acute care hospitals.
Clearing a backlog of more than 4,000 long-term care complaints, some dating back to 2017, was not only a recommendation of the Manatt Report, but a priority of mine since I became Commissioner just about a year ago. I am pleased to report that the backlog has been reduced and over the past three months we have reduced the backlog to 325 nursing home complaints and 70 state-licensed long-term care facility complaints. Inspectors who could not work in the field during the COVID-19 health emergency were assigned to review and follow up on all of these complaints.
Complaints are classified according to CMS categories: immediate jeopardy, high, medium and low. An immediate jeopardy complaint is one that either has caused or is likely to cause serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to a resident. These complaints must be responded to within 48 hours. There were no immediate jeopardy complaints included in the backlog.
Another key recommendation of the Manatt Report is to create a long-term care emergency operations center to provide centralized command structure to manage the emergency response to COVID in long-term care facilities. The long-term care EOC will monitor, communicate and respond to changes in the long-term care settings that present risk of the resurgence of COVID and monitor the impact of the upcoming flu season. It will monitor COVID testing of residents and staff. It will look at supplies of PPE and therapeutics needed to protect residents and staff, and provide guidance to the State Office of Emergency Management team to ensure that PPE and supplies are secured and distributed, and that critical staffing shortages are identified.
More than 30 million units of PPE have been distributed to the long-term care facilities throughout this pandemic, and stockpiling for these facilities is underway, alongside of ongoing inventory assessment and follow-up review with those reporting low stockpile levels. The first planning meeting of the long-term care EOC met for the first time on July 14th, with representatives from the department, the state OEM, and the Department of Human Services. Dr. David Adinaro, the new Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Services will be the chair of this group. As you know, he's an emergency room physician with experience in emergency preparedness. Dr. Adinaro's appointment on June 22nd fulfills another recommendation of the Manatt Report. Before joining the department. Dr. Adinaro helped the department stand up the 250-bed field medical station in Secaucus.
Another key recommendation that has been completed is the development of a comprehensive testing plan for residents and staff. Baseline testing was completed of all residents and staff by the end of May and retesting continues for residents and staff who have tested negative. That is a recommendation of both the CDC and the department. To date, 232,000 tests have been completed on residents and 367,000 tests have been completed on their staff. The positivity rate for long-term care residents has been reduced from 6% in May to less than 1% this month. The positivity rate for staff has also fallen from 3% in May to less than 1% this month.
But we need to remain vigilant because we still have active outbreaks in more than 360 facilities. An active outbreak is a new positive case. We need to keep the presence of the disease that is still in our communities out of our long-term care facilities. We've been working with the industry on reopening guidance, and during our two recent conference calls with industry leaders, we discussed the importance of continuing weekly testing of all staff as the CDC and the department recommends. We're exploring ways for this testing to be accomplished for over 90,000 employees weekly.
The implementation of these recommendations builds upon our previous work to help these facilities throughout this pandemic. Since March 3rd, as many of you know, the department has held stakeholder calls with operators, issued more than 18 waivers and guidances including curtailing visitation, requiring screening of all individuals entering the facilities, increased communication with residents and their families, and required universe masking.
Throughout this public health emergency, personal protective equipment and testing supplies were in short supply, but the state worked aggressively to ensure that long-term care facilities had access to PPE and testing kits. We also contracted with facilities that could take COVID-positive residents from hospitals and stressed long-term care facilities. These steps that I announced today will support the improved performance, hopefully, of long-term care facilities moving forward. Facilities have a responsibility to residents, their families, and staff to adhere to the CDC and DOH guidance and regulations to prepare for outbreaks and report the challenges they are having to the department, so working together, we can improve the care delivered at these facilities, even in the most difficult of times.
Moving on to my daily report, the Governor shared that the hospitals report 873 hospitalizations with 151 individuals in critical care, and half of those critical care patients are on ventilators. Unfortunately, we are reporting two new cases, two new reports of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, bringing our total to 55 cases in the state. The children affected have either tested positive for COVID-19 or had antibody tests that were positive. Fortunately, in New Jersey, there have been no deaths associated with multisystem inflammatory syndrome. The ages of the children affected range from 1 to 18; two children are currently hospitalized. The breakdown of race and ethnicity is as follows: White 12%, Black 34%, Hispanic 40%, Asian 6% and other 4%. Again, we see a disproportionate impact on communities of color, most significantly the Hispanic community.
The Governor reviewed the new cases and deaths reported. In terms of deaths, the breakdown overall, White 54.2%, Black 18.3%, Hispanic 20.2%, Asian 5.5% and other 1.8%. As of July 19th, we are reporting all but one death occurring in prior periods. The hospitals, as of 10:00 p.m. last night, reported five deaths in the past 24 hours. At the state veteran homes the numbers remain the same as they do in the psychiatric hospitals.
The department is still receiving problems with the downloading of laboratory results electronically. Some results are received but there continues to be a backlog which is affecting our case numbers. We are working aggressively to resolve this problem. Testing turnaround times remain a national and state issue. We monitor this daily. Today we are reporting a turnaround time between 3.2 days to as high as 7.7 days.
The daily percent positivity for the state is 2.48%. The Northern part of the state is reporting 2.94%, the Central part of the state 1.81%, and the Southern part of the state is 2.61%. That concludes my report. Stay connected, stay safe, stay healthy, get tested and mask up. Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: Judy, thank you for that and for everything. Two brief comments before we turn to Pat. Number one, the racial disparities, whether it's on fatalities or the inflammatory syndrome, are there for all to see, and particularly the inflammatory syndrome, recognizing the universe is a lot smaller, obviously, are pretty striking. I think if you add Black and Latino kids together, it's 75% or thereabouts of the cases.
Secondly, thank you for the long-term care summary update and also particularly on the Manatt recommendations. We should note, folks say, well what about the rest of the recommendations? A lot of them require statutory fixes. And so I'm happy to say, without commenting on the specifics of the legislation, I want to give a shout out, especially Joe Vitale in the Senate and Valerie Vainieri-Huttle in the Assembly for leading a whole package of bills that will hopefully round out the recommendations.
With that, Pat, I would love to get an update on both compliance as well as, just as we've discussed lately, there's a lot of noise in the system in terms of gun-related crimes, etc., and anything else you've got. Great to have you.
State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: Thank you, Governor. Good afternoon. With regard to last night on the overnight EO compliance, there was one subject arrested in Cherry Hill for DWI and while being processed, he coughed and spit on three different officers claiming to have COVID-19. And although, as we knocked on wood briefing for this today, there were no shooting incidents last night, but early morning, Tuesday there were in both Newark and Asbury Park. And again, it's just a daily monitoring and daily plans to make sure that we keep our citizens safe.
And if I can, Gov, just for a second. Yesterday, the Attorney General and I had the opportunity to volunteer at Pastor Steffie Bartley's Nan-Tech World. And it's worth noting that since March 15th, Pastor Bartley and Nan-Tech have supplied 1,500 to 2,500 meals a week to the community up there off of the Hawthorne Ave and Newark, and the sense of community that was felt there, the appreciation, the youth that were there in a time when we needed a little bit of a boost it was there, and Pastor Bartley certainly serves as a phenomenal example as to what loving thy neighbor looks like. So I was honored and humbled to be a part of it and I expect to be up there again. I know the First Lady was there and certainly enjoyed it, and Pastor Bartley, if you're listening, I'll be back. Thanks, Gov.
Governor Phil Murphy: So I got a selfie that Steffie took of you and Gurbir and the pastor and I replied with some, "three handsome guys" or "three great folks" and Steffie's only reply to me was, "When are you coming?" So I've got to find my way to get there, but hats off again to him. He's a great friend and a great leader, both in ministry in Elizabeth as well as at Nan-Tech in Newark. Thank you for that. I think we're gonna start over here, Aswan has got the mic. I say occasionally a new father, but not so new anymore, many months old but look like you're none the worse for wear. We'll continue with, I've lost in Dan Bryan somewhere. Dan is there. We'll continue with Monday, Wednesday, Friday, unless you hear otherwise and my strong guess is that we'll be together here at one o'clock on Friday. We'll be virtual with you tomorrow. I think you're hoping we could get some of this data, which is not us, but the outside vendors, cleaned up maybe even by the end of today or tomorrow. So hopefully, whether it's virtual tomorrow or in-person on Friday, we can button down a couple of the loose data ends that we have, Brent, we'll start with you. Mr. Mets, good afternoon.
Brent Johnson, Star-Ledger: So I'm -- I had to repeat algebra eighth grade, so I don't understand math very well, but the state dashboard said five deaths happened in the last 24 hours but in your remarks today, you said there was only one that happened before July 19th. Banana, banana, banana…
Governor Phil Murphy: Yeah, I think the difference, Judy, tell me if you agree is, that's what the hospitals report, but they haven't gone through the process that Ed and his team will go to tie down the death certificates.
Brent Johnson, Star-Ledger: So there were 24 deaths. How many of them happened? Five of them happened yesterday?
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: The reporting today from the epidemiologists were as of July 19th. So that's as of July 19th, all but one was from a prior period. The hospital report, the hospitals reported five within the last 24 hours. It's two different time periods.
Governor Phil Murphy: But again, they've got to go through a process, right?
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: Yeah.
Brent Johnson, Star-Ledger: So all that adds up to 24 though? Is that correct or would it be 29?
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: No. It's 24 plus 5. The five of the hospitals within the last 24 hours are not counted in the report that was filed as of July 19th.
Brent Johnson, Star-Ledger: Gotcha. Okay.
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: Okay.
Brent Johnson, Star-Ledger: Where is the $1 billion budget shortage for schools coming from? Why didn't you borrow more money to protect children that have missed school, instead of asking for the federal government to supply it? So why didn't you ask for $11 billion?
What did you make of Governor Christie's comments about the state not doing enough to help businesses while helping public workers more? Will the out-of-state quarantine apply to any college students returning to campus? What's being done to ensure that?
It's also been now more than a week the daily hospitalization numbers have been missing data from at least one hospital. Is it the same hospital not reporting?
And then lastly, New York limits childcare groups to 15. Will New Jersey increase theirs from 10?
Governor Phil Murphy: Just one, you've raised this before, Brent, and I have no reason to think that you're not accurate. Of the past number of days I actually don't show that it's every day that there's only 70 reporting. I've got several in here with all 71. But it is different. Judy, I'm showing Inspira for a couple of days and Bergen New Bridge for one of those days. So it's not the same hospital each day. Is that the same you've got? Yeah.
Schools, $1 billion, ask for more money. At a certain point, as desperate as we are, we can only bear so much leverage. And so we've said right from the get-go, this is not either/or it is and/both. We need the ability to borrow up to that number of $9.9 billion and we need federal help, and we need to consider revenues. So it is not as though we are, you know, that we don't have an unlimited ability to borrow. You have to service that borrowing, you've got to pay interest, you've got to pay it back, and we'll do everything we can to get the schools the money. But the point is we need both borrowing and the federal money.
I'm going from the back, daycare, we have no, to the best of my knowledge, no capacity on daycare, is that right? Matt Platkin, is that accurate? In terms of daycare capacity? You said New York had a 15?
Brent Johnson, Star-Ledger: New York has 15 and this was a question from a reader and I didn't know the answer.
Governor Phil Murphy: Okay.
Brent Johnson, Star-Ledger: And they said, why won't New Jersey increase it from 10?
Governor Phil Murphy: Not sure I got the color, but can we come back to you? I'm going backwards, colleges and universities. Yes, it does. It does, and I've got one in my own house. This was a topic of conversation yesterday when the state that she goes to school in was added to the list. What we need more than anything else is a coordinated national policy on things like face coverings, that we pray for speedy resolution in these other states, that we, all of us, not just some of us do what we need to do to get this thing behind us. Social distancing, face covering, washing hands with soap and water, self-quarantining if you had been in one of these places, testing. We know what the shortlist is. It's not complicated., In the absence of therapeutics or in the absence of vaccines, it's all we've got. And so we've got to get as national as we can get, as coordinated as we can get so we're not now, as we are now, it doesn't go on that we are only as strong as the weakest link in the chain.
Governor Christie, yeah, I did see that. So I would just say a couple of things. Number one, I applaud the effort that he and Mary Pat are making toward small businesses, so we shouldn't take away from that. But you know what? I wish he had stopped there, frankly. There's no reason to inject us/them or any amount of politics into this. We have strived from day one to make the calls based on the science, on the data, on the facts. Let's just keep it at that. Frankly, it's particularly, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry that he's invoking the EDA, as I understand it, in his comments, which was a piggy bank for special interests under his leadership, big companies at the absolute expense of small companies. And it can't be either/or. My math tells me that our EDA in this crisis has committed $100 million to help 20,000 small businesses, of which half of them already have the money. So we are in there every single day doing everything we can for small businesses. We need more help, another reason why we need federal cash assistance.
And I would also like to know why it's one or the other, including who thinks that laying off middle-class workers, who are the very folks at the frontlines providing the services that our residents so desperately need, where is it written, who thinks that laying them off somehow benefits New Jersey's families? When in fact, the exact opposite is the case? So I'll leave it there. I appreciate the fact that he's helping out small businesses. But come on, man, particularly given the train wreck that the EDA was under his leadership, all for the benefit of special interest, at the expense of small businesses, especially how public sector workers were crushed under him. Give me a break. Dustin, please.
Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: Okay.
Governor Phil Murphy: Dustin, I didn't mean to get too emotional as I was turning to you there. Is that a New Jersey flag emblem?
Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: Yeah, I'm just, you know, trying to blend into the –
Governor Phil Murphy: You're trying to offset the Mets over here? Okay.
Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: Beats the Mets, no doubt. Former CDC Director Tom Frieden wrote today about data every state should be collecting but in most cases isn't. What will New Jersey be able to gather that he recommended, which includes things like turnaround time for tests, emergency room trends for flu-like symptoms, and how many new cases are interviewed for contact tracing within 48 hours?
Could the health department identify on its dashboard where new outbreaks in long-term care facility are? Is the health department getting antibody results? And if so, what does that data say?
And then specifically for the Governor, the announcement you made Monday on the guidance for parents for virtual learning, in response to the NJEA saying schools won't be ready to open in the fall, and if there's still a supply issue with PPE, will the state be able to help districts get the equipment they need to reopen? Thanks.
Governor Phil Murphy: Let me go to the top. I did not see, is it Tom Frieden? I did not see his remarks so I'm not sure specifically what data he was recommending that we provide, but I think -- what were your examples, Dustin? Can you give me --
Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: There's a whole bunch of them, but things like turnaround time for tests, emergency room trends for flu-like symptoms and, you know, how many cases are interviewed for contact tracing within 48 hours, but there's a whole list.
Governor Phil Murphy: Okay. Well, we should look at the list if it's okay with you, but those first three are things that you track pretty clearly daily, right? In fact, you reported the turnaround time on testing a minute ago. So can we come back to you on the broader list? But those are things that we track and I think in most cases, at least daily.
Judy, I'll leave to you on, can you put long-term care outbreaks on the dashboard, antibody results? Virtual learning, we take NJEA's inputs extremely seriously, but that was not in response to anything from NJEA per se. That was something that we were pursuing In any event. And I will say this, I believe Dan, it'll be Friday that we're going to have a more fuller, I hope Friday or at latest Monday, a more fuller discussion of what that looks like.
And yes, we are working with both counties and districts on PPE, but we're not there yet but we are working on that. And we've said from every time we've been asked, we've come a long way. Judy talked about the tens of millions of PPE that's been distributed in long-term care, but we're still not where we need to be. But certainly, as part of the district plans, as part of the approval of those plans, both from the Department of Education and the Department of Health, we are clearly focused on that. Judy, any comments on any of the above, but also on long-term care, new outbreaks, and/or antibody results from either you or Ed?
DOH Communicable Disease Service Medical Director Dr. Ed Lifshitz: Let me speak to the antibody results. Yes, we do get antibody results and the first most important thing to understand about these is these are not what are known as randomized, meaning these are people going in and saying they want to be tested for antibodies. So our first thing is to realize that you would expect that these numbers were probably higher in the people getting tested than the general population, because people who are sick, think they might have had it, are more likely to go get tested in the first place.
With that being said, we have results on close to 600,000 New Jerseyans at this point who received antibody tests, and I don't have the exact numbers off the top of my head. But what it is showing is kind of what you would expect, meaning those parts of the state which tended to be up in the North and the East and more densely packed, and where we saw more cases of COVID in general, are also showing higher rates of people testing positive for antibodies. So that's the short answer, and I can talk more to at a different time.
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: The dashboard?
DOH Communicable Disease Service Medical Director Dr. Ed Lifshitz: One of the things that we have on our dashboard is we do list the long-term care facility outbreaks every day. We update the list of all the facilities that have outbreaks, including how many cases are associated with each of those facilities, so that's already on our dashboard at this time.
Governor Phil Murphy: Maybe you can, offline, go back and figure out where that -- how you find that, is that what you were going to ask?
Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: You do list it. It's difficult unless you captured in a screenshot or save it every day to track what the new ones are, unless I'm mistaken.
Governor Phil Murphy: So listen, that's something I think offline we're open to. We want to be as fully transparent on this stuff as possible. Thank you. Dave, good afternoon, nice to see you.
David Matthau, NJ 101.5: Good to see you. Because of the recent COVID spikes around the country, the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, has been warning and I believe they sent, Governor, you and other governors around the country a letter saying, you know, we've got to be ready for imminent new COVID outbreaks at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Commissioner, I know that you went into some detail -- and thank you -- with regard to efforts that are underway at the nursing homes and so forth. But I would like to ask Governor for your reaction in terms of, how ready is New Jersey for a second spike or a wave or an uptick with regard to the nursing homes? And for both of you, you know, this issue of the longer testing, how much of a concern is that? I mean, this is our most vulnerable population. If we have to wait a week for somebody to get tested, unfortunately, they may die before we get the results of the test.
Second and final question, the Rutgers spit or saliva test was supposed to be ramped up dramatically months ago. But now it's like nobody knows whatever happened to it. It seems, or was billed as a faster and more accurate test. If people want this kind of test, wouldn't this be the time for us to try to use it? Do we know where you can get it? I don't believe on the COVID-19 website there's any listing specifying where it is or is not. Shouldn't that really be one of the keys at this point, to try to get that up and moving? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: I was going to say with Major League Baseball's new rules on no spitting, we've had to change course, but I won't say that. I'll give you my answer and Judy, on a couple of these, you should jump in. How ready are we? I make it my business not every day, but most days, to just check in with players in our healthcare systems. So today I had an exchange with John Gantner at RWJ University. I also was on with Audrey Meyers at Valley, just to check in. I do that most days to get a sense of – Judy does it every day, Kevin Slaven many times as the Head of the Hospital Association just to get a sense of how our capacities are, what they're seeing, new hospitalizations, just any anything that's on their mind.
You heard Judy's, I think very comprehensive review of the sort of implementation of what is about half of the Manatt recommendations and I said earlier, a big bulk of the rest are through statutory fixes. My answer, a non-medical professional is we're as ready as any state is in America but while we hope for the best, we're going to continue to prepare for the worst. We know that this was the tinder in our thousands of fatalities, not quite, but just under 58% of the fatalities that we've suffered. Judy can come in for more. I mean, clearly, we've learned some painful lessons. The operators who have been incredibly uneven have been, thank God, please God, through whether it's the steps that the Manatt Report suggested, Judy's persistence, the court of public opinion, whatever it is, we hope, we believe and we hope that these have been strengthened.
Turnaround time is an issue. I mean, there's no, we mention it every day. There's kind of no way to put a positive spin on that. You know, we have cobbled together, per capita, the top couple of states in America testing capacity. We had mentioned many times a month-plus ago that we had the capacity but not the demand, so we're imploring people to come out and get tested. That sort of got to the point one day a couple of weeks ago, maybe last week, we had 38,000 tests per capita, that would put us on that day number one in the country by a lot, but the turnaround sucks. I mean, there's no other way to put it and we're not immune to the national fires that are raging elsewhere.
When you have 31 states on your hot list you get a sense of the scale, including some of the biggest states in America, right? California, Texas and Florida, the top three most populated states in the country. And so we're doing everything we can, including working with the Trump administration and other avenues to try to get the reagents and whatnot that the labs -- some labs, you heard Judy give a range. Some of these labs have been able to keep the turnaround at a more modest extension, so up to three-plus days, others are up in the week range.
I don't have an update for you on Rutgers spit. I know the arrangement took longer than any of us wanted to, but it's still a big piece of our aspiration going forward. We should probably, Dan, I'm going to look to you, maybe get the Rutgers folks back in here to give you a fuller reporting of where that stands.
But Judy, anything on long-term care, how are we prepared? Anything you want to add there? Turnaround on testing or anything on Rutgers?
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: Well, the turnaround on testing I would have to say right now is our biggest issue, because if you are getting tested and you're symptomatic, you should quarantine till you get your report back. The reports not coming back 10 to 14 days, that's the quarantine period, and it is affecting everything else we do. The contact tracing, the case investigation, the contact tracing. So we are looking aggressively at the use of point-of-care testing and how we can use that effectively in communities, particularly those communities that have very low positivity rates.
We're doing a pilot today, actually, more to come on that, in a homeless shelter on point-of-care testing, which is most effective because of the transient nature of that population and they are a population at risk. So every day we're doing something to try to improve not only our testing methodologies, but turnaround time and follow up.
The Rutgers saliva test is being deployed. It's a methodology that is used pretty frequently. We do have an agreement with them that the first 30,000 tests go to us. We are using that, so I'll be able to give you a full report. I can even do it, you know, later today, if that would be helpful.
Governor Phil Murphy: The White House has been talking for a couple of weeks, and I think it's fair to say, Judy, while we welcome it, we're not sure yet how immediately effective it will be. The White House has been previewing with us, and all American states, something on the order of the size of a toaster, it was described, that would be sent to most long-term care facilities in the country as I understood it. We're going to keep you updated on that. And again, Judy, I think we want to put a while grateful, I know we're grateful for it, assuming we get them, you'd put a little bit of a TBD, to be determined, in terms of how it Immediately helpful it is in terms of the actual nature of the tests that you get. Thank you. Good afternoon.
Reporter: Good afternoon, Governor. What's your reaction to the memo President Trump signed yesterday instructing the Commerce Secretary to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment count in the census? Do you plan to sue the Trump Administration over this action?
How many new contact tracers have been hired, trained and deployed so far? And in what communities? We're not asking about the 800 to 900 local tracers that are already at work.
How many counties are using the CommCare reporting platform, and what does this CommCare data tell you? For example, do we know how many people have been identified or contacted statewide, or the response rate to these calls?
And finally, has the state hired another entity to assist with the contact tracing corps? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: I'm qualified to answer the first question at least in part, and will defer on the contact tracing to Judy You know, we don't agree. I wouldn't talk about any legal matters, including suits that we may or may not file against the federal government, but that's not how we view the American family. It's not how we view our New Jersey family. When we talk about 9 million residents, it's everybody who's here. And these are folks and we've in fact eulogized many of them over the past several months, who have lived extraordinary lives, who have come here for the American dream, who worked their tails off to educate their kids, to get some, as best they can, some foothold into middle class, American middle-class New Jersey. They're here and they deserve to be counted. What actions we take beyond that I won't comment on.
I will say this, it's a good opportunity for me to reiterate, everybody go on, give me, is it Census2020.gov, Dan? Census2020.gov and get counted, because we need that. We need it desperately.
Judy may have the exact number, it's several hundred contract tracers and your question explicitly was above the already high 800s that we have built up over the course of the pandemic. It is now many hundreds over that. I can't give you a specific answer on how many but we can come back to you on that. Any other color on that number, Judy, or on the CommCare platform, how many are using it? I thought it was everybody, all counties, and any other thing on data or contact tracing?
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: All counties have implemented CommCare and are using it actively. I have not seen the data back from CommCare, but it should be able to give us information on how many positive cases were contacted within a certain period of time, 24 to 48, how many then gave contact tracing information, and the time period for contacting and getting information from those contacts.
It was reported this morning, I don't want to misstate, but it's a little bit north of 1,000 now contact tracers that have been deployed and trained on CommCare, so that's the original 800, but some of the original 800 have gone back to school or they were temporary jobs, they've gone back to their permanent jobs. So I don't have the exact number, but I do know it's over 1,000 right now have all been trained on CommCare, a couple of hundred from the Rutgers program.
Governor Phil Murphy: Yeah, it was 231 we reported a couple weeks ago, I think the number has gone up from there. Dan, can you follow up? We'll get you the exact number, if that's okay. Does that work? Thank you. Sir, anything for you? Good afternoon.
Reporter: Good afternoon. Governor. First a question for Dr. Lifshitz. The probable deaths today were listed at 1,920. And if I remember correctly, we had a lot of days where it was in 1,974. With those other 54 deaths now lab-confirmed taken out of the count? What happened there?
I'd like to ask the Governor about your fellow Democratic Governor John Carney of Delaware, saying he's "mad as hell" about being on the travel advisory list. You alluded last week that you have had conversations with Delaware officials. Has that included Governor Carney directly, and what's your reaction to that?
You mentioned earlier a conversation in your household. Are you quarantining one of your children or are you going to do so in the future if need be?
And for Colonel Callahan and maybe Jared Maples if he's back there along the wall, the FBI has confirmed a link between the attack on the family of Judge Salas and a homicide in California of a men's rights attorney. Does the State of New Jersey consider the attack on Judge Salas' home terrorism?
Governor Phil Murphy: Ed, do you want to hit number one?
DOH Communicable Disease Service Medical Director Dr. Ed Lifshitz: Sure. Probable deaths change from time to time and is one of the reasons we only report them once a week. They change for a number of reasons, probably the most common reason they change is they become confirmed deaths. So if somebody died and we don't, for example, have them matched to a confirmed positive lab result and subsequently we're able to match those together, then they may move from one category to the other. Some may also change because they may be found to be a duplicate here or occasionally may be out of state and not associated with us. So there are a number of reasons why they can change. Probably the single most common is that they would become confirmed from probable.
Governor Phil Murphy: First, let me say unequivocally, I love John Carney. He's a great Governor, he was a Congressman. He's got a sense of the federal-state piece, which is really almost unique among governors. I will shameless promote his reelection is in my personal capacity as Chair of the Democratic Governors Association. He does a great job. He and I exchanged voicemails yesterday. We spoke live last weekend, we spoke live the week before and I know Judy's in regular touch with his health officials.
He's not happy and the problem with this is like everything else, not everyone's happy when you make the call based on the data and the science, and it is what it is. They're a great partner as a state. He's a great partner personally. I wish them nothing but good progress on COVID and in any other matters. And you know, they were on it and then came off it, I hope they come off it again and stay off it. I know he does as well, for sure. Can't say enough good things about him.
I've got nobody quarantining but I do have a daughter who is a student at the University of Virginia and Virginia just got added yesterday. So that led to our discussion. Judy, I'm not going to call up and start ranting or anything. So that's just going to be a reality. Someone asked me, did it include college students? Yeah, it does. So we were already, mom and she and I were last night texting back and forth. What's that mean in terms of, you know, what it's going to look like. She's in New Jersey at the moment. She just got tested, by the way, the other day. And by the way, I want to use this opportunity because there's insanity on social media sometimes. That's my daughter, who did not have a bachelorette party, is not engaged, and is not getting married this weekend. Just for the record, to all of you bozos out there who think otherwise.
I don't know that we want to comment on terrorism. Jared, do you want to say anything on that or not? I think we're going to take a pass on that. That's not our call. It's a federal call, obviously. Again, our hearts, thoughts, prayers are overwhelmingly with Judge Salas and her husband and the loss of – and hope that he has a speedy recovery. The loss of their blessed kid who looks like he was an incredible guy. And again, this notion that, you know, we've made a lot of progress, Pat, on gun safety but there's too many examples that continue to tell us that we're not home yet. We have a ways to go. Thank you. Sir.
Phil Andrews, NJ News Network: Good afternoon, everybody, how's everyone doing today? Three quick questions. Back when you started these briefings, Governor, did you ever in a million years think you'd be sitting there saying here's our 98th meeting? Did you ever think that was going to happen?
Governor Phil Murphy: No. Yep.
Phil Andrews, NJ News Network: Back during the whole bonding act discussion, a lot of state lawmakers thought it was premature, and that maybe they should wait to see what the federal government would give. Based on what you told us at the top of this briefing, can you connect the dots? I mean, the news coming out of Washington DC from Republican leadership, can you connect the dots there? And I understand if they do come through with a bill, with a relief plan, it probably won't happen until August. Does the lateness of that affect schools, money to schools here in New Jersey? Because I know that they're depending on some of that money too. Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: The only question is on the connect the dots between what? If you can come back, Aswan.
Phil Andrews, NJ News Network: Yeah, so a lot of them, like I had a chance to talk to a couple of them. Anthony Bucco and –
Governor Phil Murphy: You mean connect the dots between Washington?
Phil Andrews, NJ News Network: Yeah, so they thought it was premature. They thought you should wait to see what kind of money came federally. But obviously, based on what you were telling us at the top of this briefing, it doesn't look like, in this relief plan, that the money that you're expecting is going to come for the people who need it. So, can you connect the dots and going back and just, you know, because obviously nobody knows. You've been telling us that you can't wait because we're going to run out of money, but I'm just trying to get you to connect the dots on what they were saying versus what you were telling us at the top of this about, it doesn't look good. We're not getting the money we thought we were going to get in this particular plan. Does that make sense?
Governor Phil Murphy: Yeah, it does. I'm not sure I can. So, did I ever expect we would be doing 98 of these? I'm not sure we did. I'll look to Pat and Judy and Ed, but I will say this. There were times we talked about, Brent, to your question, where Judy said five people passed in hospitals. Judy has referred to this. There were days where literally over 400 people were passing in a given 24-hour period from hospitals. And again, then you take some time to confirm cause of death and all the work that Ed and his team, the solemn work they do. So at one level, no, I never would have guessed it. But at another level, when it was that dark at those moments, you thought at times that it would go on forever, and I hope it lands somewhere in between. It's going to be more than 98. We'll be back with you on Friday. But I hope whether it's vaccine, therapeutics, other states just coming down to sort of some low level of infection and we stay that way, please God, in this state. Amen.
I don't know that there, I wouldn't say that the dots were connected, at least as far as I can tell. I have been, from moment one, given -- again, this isn't that he's a Republican, it's just who he is. I have been skeptical. Again, a guy who has not had to balance a budget, at least for 35 years, I've been very skeptical whether it's politics, ideology, not balancing a budget in his life, or in his past three-and-a-half decades, that I've been skeptical of McConnell. Even in the first several rounds, they got to where they got to because of just unrelenting facts and unrelenting pressure, including in some cases by the White House, to their credit, in some of that stuff. So I don't see any dots connected and I continue to be skeptical.
I hope we get something, I hope it is a significant amount and I hope New Jersey within that is treated properly and as we should be, and I'll believe it when I see it. And even if we do get it, I want to repeat something I mentioned earlier on this side is and/both. We need both the borrowing capability as well as the federal assistance and potentially, I think, increasingly other revenue sources. And again, repeat something we've said 1,000 times, we don't wake up reflexively wanting to borrow. And I certainly even as I sit here hope that we don't have to borrow $9.9 billion, but we have to have that at our disposal.
Does the timing, in your last question, does any of this, and/or the timing impact school funding? I'll put aside for a minute that we need money. Ralph Caputo and I were back and forth today. He introduced a resolution in the Assembly that calls for the feds to help with a lot more money to help us open schools responsibly with PPE, proper social distancing barriers, etc. Putting that even aside, which I would commend Ralph for asking for that, because we do need it, the timing is not ideal. We should have had this resolved already. We are bumping up not only against a new school year, but because we extended our budget stub period to September 30th, I've now got to -- forget what we need to get schools open for a second, which is obviously critically important -- we're now bumping up against by August 25th to present a budget for the period from October 1st now to next June 30th, and having some certainty around that would really make a difference,. Certainly for schools, but for the entirety of the budget and the other services that we've had to eat into. So thank you for the questions.
Judy, I'm going to mask up if that's all right. I want to thank Judy and Ed, as always, for being here. Pat, likewise, Jared, Matt Platkin was with us, Aswan, Dan and other teammates. We will be, Dan, here at one o'clock on Friday and unless you hear otherwise from us, we'll be with you virtually tomorrow. We actually may have a press hit tomorrow, which has been scheduled. More on that later, and because it's a Thursday, at a minimum, I may speak Judy, with your blessing to not just the overnight numbers, but anything on the unemployment front. We know this is a public health crisis unlike any other. It's also an economic crisis unlike any other and small businesses and individual workers and working families have borne the brunt of this overwhelming tsunami.
Again, thank you, everybody, for everything you have done, by the millions of you. Keep up the great work. Please stay cool. Pat, for cooling station, is it 211? Call 211 if you need some relief for a cooling location. Please, Judy, you'd want me to say this, I think. If you've got an elderly relative or neighbor or a vulnerable relative or neighbor or friend, give them a call and make sure they're okay, that they've got air conditioning, that they're cool, that they've got access to water and whatnot. These are days that are pretty brutal on the heat front, so stay indoors if you can, folks. Thank you all and God bless you all.