Governor Phil Murphy: Good afternoon, everyone. I am honored to be joined by the woman to my right who needs no introduction, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli. To her right, State Epidemiologist and other familiar face, Dr. Christina Tan. To my far left, guy who needs no introduction, State Police Superintendent Colonel Pat Callahan. We are also joined today by the guy to my immediate left, by the President and CEO of NJ Transit, Kevin Corbett. Also we've got Jared Maples, Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness with us. Great to have you all here.
Before I get to why Kevin is with us, I want to quickly cover a couple of other items, if I may. This weekend, I partook in a movement built around ensuring justice for, and solidarity with, our communities of color, particularly when law enforcement is involved in a death. Any life lost, any life lost, is a loss to be mourned and grieved. This applies regardless of whether someone dies during a police encounter. And I offer condolences to the families of every person who has died during a law enforcement encounter. Police have a responsibility to protect the people they serve and that demands a high level of accountability when things go wrong.
I am proud of the steps our administration has taken to ensure a thorough, independent Attorney General investigation of any law enforcement-related death. We are at the vanguard by ensuring these matters are also presented to an impartial grand jury. Shortly, Attorney General Gruber Grewal will release the video footage of the shooting of Maurice Gordon by a member of the New Jersey State Police. Most states would not require the release of that footage until an investigation is entirely complete. The Attorney General followed the procedures set up by his office under the law I signed, requiring an independent Attorney General review of all law enforcement-related deaths. I have full confidence in the Attorney General.
And to repeat what I've said before, under law, I cannot dictate the process and outcome of the criminal investigation. Doing so would no longer make the Attorney General a so-called, quote-unquote independent prosecutor, undermining both the law and the independence that is a necessary part of our criminal justice system. This matter will be presented to a grand jury.
As I noted, the First Lady, our son Josh, and I had the opportunity to join two of the protests which took place to say that Black lives matter, that systemic racism must be relegated to history, and that we must use this time to transform our society and ourselves, so that we finally live up to our nation's highest ideals. I was honored to walk alongside community leaders in residence, in the extraordinary Hillside, and then to join a tremendous community based gathering in Westfield, organized by a high school student who have I've now gotten to know, Nella Angela Scott. These, as well as the pictures that I saw and the reports that I got from up and down our state, were as moving as they were clear in the message we sent.
I was also pleased to see so many people, in fact, I said to my colleagues today, I don't recall seeing one person not wearing a mask or a face covering, you'd be happy to know, Judy, keeping themselves safe even as they protested, to ensure that every American can be safe. And to everyone who took to their streets and town centers, please go out and get tested for COVID-19. We cannot let what happened across New Jersey this weekend be undone by an outbreak. Tammy and I have just scheduled our tests.
Next, today we are announcing that municipal and private club swimming pools will be able to reopen on Monday, June 22. Full guidance relating to the procedures and protocols from the Department of Health that will need to be followed, Judy and I had hoped to have them today, but they will be released tomorrow. But we can give today, give everyone that date, Monday, June 22 to look forward to. And by the way, summer camps will be able to use their pools when they reopen on July 6.
And additionally, later today, the department will be issuing the guidance that will guide camps including municipal recreation programs, and summer educational programming through the reopening process to ensure that everyone has a safe but memorable summer. Judy and Pat and I participated in what I thought was a very good video call this morning with Vice President Pence and team, compared notes. We went through sort of the steps, both the data that we've gotten and the steps that we're taking. I thought it was a constructive call, overwhelmingly if not entirely focused on the battle against COVID-19.
Now to Kevin and NJ Transit. Today, we are proud to introduce NJT 2030, which is New Jersey Transit's first ever long-term, 10-year strategic plan. And along with it, Kevin and his team are also releasing NJ Transit's five-year capital plan. These plans are coming at a crucial time as we prepare for stage two of our restart and recovery from COVID-19. And let there be no doubt as critical as NJ Transit has been to countless essential workers as the way to and from their jobs on our front lines, NJ Transit is going to be even more a part of our restart as New Jerseyans begin to get back to work.
Before this emergency, we made critical, long overdue investments and undertook long overdue fundamental reforms to NJ Transit's operations, which unquestionably improve reliability and performance. Now we must make sure this progress not only continues, but must be safeguarded. There's no other way to put it. New Jersey's road back also rides along NJ Transit's trains, buses and light rail. NJT 2030 puts forward the vision for how NJ Transit plans to address a decade-long period of disinvestment, modernize how Kevin and his team will transform NJ Transit's core business to better serve customers and communities, and by doing so, regain the confidence of their customers, employees and stakeholders.
This plan has been more than a year in the making and stems from countless conversations and interactions with customers and employees, as well as a robust peer review of how other mass transit systems are working to meet their challenges. In other words, to find best practices we can replicate right here in New Jersey. Altogether, NJT 2030 includes 26 specific strategies and they're categorized into five overarching goals, to ensure system wide reliability and safety. Two, deliver a high quality experience to all customers. Three, power a stronger and fairer economic recovery across communities and regions. Fourth, build an even more accountable, innovative and inclusive culture within NJ Transit. And five, promote a more sustainable future for NJ Transit in our state.
As I noted, this plan was coming together well before our current emergency took hold, but it fully includes actions to give customers and transit operators confidence as we begin our restart and recovery, including enhanced cleaning, social distancing, and the use of personal protective equipment among both customers and employees, enhanced communications and greater cooperation with our regional transit partners to defend against the spread of the virus and share best practices.
Now, the vision of the strategic plan is highly dependent on infrastructure and equipment being maintained and properly protected. And we know what happens to quality and reliability of service when that doesn't happen. That's the hole that we have been climbing out of for the past two-and-a-half years. And this is where NJ Transit's five-year capital plan comes in, to identify projects that are currently proceeding with funding already in place, as well as projects that are not funded but vital to NJ Transit's service delivery and showing the path forward. I'll leave Kevin to speak to the specifics, but we know that we will need to work cooperatively both within state government and with our federal partners to meet NJ Transit's identified short-term and long-term capital needs. No one will deny the challenge, but we must work creatively and together to meet them. We cannot allow the past three years of progress to be undone. I'll close on this topic as I started. A safe and reliable NJ Transit is necessary to help us travel our road back, and I know that if we work together and make the vision in these plans a reality, NJ Transit will help power New Jersey's resurgence at a time when we need it most.
Let's turn to the overnight numbers. Yesterday we received an additional 356 positive test results for an updated statewide total of 164,497. Here is the trend line of new cases, and here is the graph which shows the slowing rate of transmission of COVID-19. This is the RT. The rate remains below one at 0.70, which means that each new case is leading to fewer than one other new case. I'm told, Judy, by our data colleagues that this number may be a little bit more positive than the reality, that the jump down to 0.7, that it's not quite as happy because the base of sampling was on a smaller base, but it's still in the right direction. And this is another one that's in the right direction, the daily positivity or spot positivity rates, these are from samples collected on June 4, was 3.6%.
What all these numbers tell us is that the spread of COVID-19 continues to slow, and that is again why I urge everyone who took part in a march or a peaceful protest this weekend to get tested. We have the testing capacity and we have more testing sites across, we more than any other state at this point in terms of per capita sites across our state. Let's make sure these numbers stay moving in the right direction.
Looking to our long-term care facilities, we continue to work hard to push down the curve in terms of both newly identified cases of COVID-19 and to stem the loss of blessed brothers and sisters in residence to COVID-19 related causes, 5,542 lost lives in our long-term care community. We know this is a challenge felt in every state, but we are committed to New Jersey being a leader and taking it on and ensuring the health and safety of residents and staff.
Our hospitals reported 1,740 patients being treated for COVID-19, our fifth straight day of being below 2,000 statewide, and our field medical stations reported just 16 patients. This is the breakdown of hospitalizations across regions. The number of patients reported in either critical or intensive care is now below 500 and sits at 498. That is quite a milestone, I think you'd agree. This is another big marker for us to hit, as we've seen this number cut fully in half in just the past three weeks. And the number of ventilators in use is now below 400 for three consecutive days at 361.
Yesterday, 94 new patients entered our hospitals, but another 112 live residents left our hospitals, and are yesterday's hospital admittance and discharge numbers charted across regions. The data in our hospitals continue to point us in the right direction. Let's look at some of the overall trends that we see emerging. Hospitalizations, both current and new, and ICU counts and ventilator use have all dropped tremendously, not just since the peak in April, but over the past two weeks as well, which are the guideposts we look at when determining our next steps.
We see a lot of green lights on the road back, which means we are continuing to steadily move our entrance into stage two next week. And here's how things look across regions, we're ready to enter stage two together as one New Jersey. This is a new slide for you. We've made real strides against this virus. We're going to sit on this for a second. According to analysis from vox.com, we're one of only six states to have made strong progress on the numbers of cases and on building up both testing and hospital capacity. We should be incredibly proud to have met these benchmarks and to be a leader. If my eyes are accurate here, it's New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Colorado. That's a list that we want to be on. That's the strongest six states that have made the most amount of progress. I can't give you the formula they used, but you can see down below it's data from the CDC, the New York Times COVID tracking projects and census bureau data.
But of course, we will still need to practice caution and to keep with our social distancing with wearing, please, face coverings and with washing our hands with soap and water and all the other things that are now part of our routines. Our standing against our fellow states is improving, but we still need to keep working to drive our ranking down. These are all the categories we don't want to be near the top, and you can see new cases per day we've now dropped pretty dramatically. We're 26, the last time we showed you we were 21. We're still number two in the country patients in hospital and deaths per day, we've been bouncing in and around two and three. And by the way, it's especially that last one. The toll of COVID-19 has been too great, and today we are announcing the loss of another blessed 40 of our New Jerseyans to this virus. We now have lost a total of 12,214 members of our extraordinary New Jersey family. Please, let's take a minute or two to remember several more of them.
We begin today by remembering Kathryn Jones of Woodbury. She was 105 years old. Born on August 21, 1914, on her family's farm in Swedesboro. She was known by many, if not by all, as Toby. She graduated from Woodbury High School in 1932 and in 1936 completed her education and training to become a nurse, Judy, at the West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital School of Nursing. The following year, she married her husband, Smith Jones, and together they raised their three children in Woodbury, and she kept the home fire burning while he served overseas in World War II. They'd been married for 52 years.
Toby worked as a registered nurse at hospitals in Gloucester and Camden counties for more than four decades, but continued to volunteer her time at Underwood Memorial Hospital, now Inspira Medical Center, after her retirement in 1979. By the way, I spoke with her son Bob. I was honored to have that conversation. He's in South Carolina. He said two things about her. Number one, there was quote-unquote nothing wrong with her. COVID-19 just decked her. And secondly, she retired in 1979 as a nurse, and you'll hear in a minute that by 1988, she had already logged more than 10,000 hours after that of volunteer service, a milestone for which she was honored. Here's the story. She retired and literally the next day showed up as a volunteer. Literally the next day. But according to her family, she always said that she was simply humbled to have helped others. She was a lifelong member of St. Patrick Catholic Church of the Holy Angels Parish in Woodbury. Toby is now reunited with her beloved Smith and also with two of their three children, Susan and Frederick, and she leaves behind her other son, as I mentioned, Bob, along with five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. A tremendous life that witnessed so much. May God bless you, Toby, and your family.
Next up, we remember Angela Angie Rodriguez on the left of Bayonne, New Jersey. Angela was one of the frontline healthcare heroes who we have lost. Born in the Philippines, Angie worked at University Hospital in Newark. When she wasn't there, Angie loved to spend her time with her family and to travel, trips that took her around the world. She was a woman devoted to her Catholic faith who loved to laugh and put people at ease. Angie leaves behind her three children, Angelik, Shireen with whom I had the great honor of speaking yesterday, Shireen lives in Ohio, and Justin, and an extended family that includes her three grandchildren, as well as her partner Carmen, brothers Roberto, Ricardo and David and her sister Monique. Angie was only 53 years old. We thank Angie for her service to University Hospital and the people who turned to her. May her memory give everyone who knew her and loved her peace at this time. God bless you, Angie.
And finally, we remember Tiran Billups, President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 819, ATU's largest New Jersey local. Kevin knows them well and he knew Tiran well. He was elected president in 2017 after serving as Local 819's vice president for six years, and he drove an NJ Transit bus for more than a decade before that. Tehran was only 65 years old. When COVID-19 began to take hold, Tehran was one of the leaders making sure they were safe and had the PPE they needed, and was there handing out masks and gloves to his union brothers and sisters. That act, being right there with his members, working with them, protecting them, was pure Tiran. It's what made him a great leader.
And if anyone is cynical about unions, remember this story. This is a guy, not for any more money, not for any more glory, laid it out on the frontline to make sure his union brothers and sisters who were essential workers, whether they were on buses or trains, had the personal protective equipment that they needed, and it probably ultimately led to his loss of life. Somewhere along the way, he got infected. Tiran was a member of the Greater Refuge Church of Christ in Plainfield. He was an usher there as well as a leader serving on various church committees. Tiran leaves behind his best friend of 30 years on the right, his wife Pamela, and their seven children Katrina, Adele, Aaron, and Dasia, and I had the honor of speaking with the two of them yesterday. Christopher, David and Tehran II, along with 13 grandchildren, and a great grandson. He's also survived by his sister Kathy. And he leaves behind thousands of labor brothers and sisters, and countless friends, including me. He was really good to me.
By the way, Tiran battled COVID-19, Judy, for 61 straight days in the hospital, and his family told me it ebbed and flowed, and they thought they had him back along the way on multiple occasions, but ultimately he gave out. God bless him. To you, Tiran, thank you for your commitment to the men and women of NJ Transit, of ATU and labor. You're a giant and most importantly, for your commitment to your extraordinary family. God bless you, buddy. God bless you and God rest your soul.
Three more members of our New Jersey family who left lasting impacts on our state and in their communities. We remember all we have lost to COVID-19. Let not one of them ever, ever, ever become just a number. Let's remember their names, their faces, their lives, their stories. And let's remember that we cannot let up our guard against COVID-19. Not because of the weather and not because we took the precaution of wearing a face covering before we attended peaceful protests. There now are more than 200 locations around New Jersey to get tested, including at numerous Rite Aid and CVS pharmacies, Walmart stores and state, county and locally organized sites. And you can locate one near you by going to covid19.nj.gov/testing and using the new test site finder, then go out and get tested. The more tests we record, the better the data we receive, and the better the data we receive, the more surely we can take our steps into stage two of our restart and recovery, and then towards stage three.
We're still all in this together, so please do your part to keep us moving forward, common sense for the common good. Keep practicing your social distancing, washing your hands with soap and water, wearing your face coverings when out in public, especially in places where social distancing isn't possible, like at a peaceful protest. Then go get tested so you can help to better protect not just yourself and your family, but your community. And with that, please help me welcome the President and CEO of NJ Transit, Kevin Corbett.
NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett: Thank you, Governor and good afternoon, everyone. This really is an exciting day for NJ Transit. But before I get into the announcement that brings me here today, I thought it would be appropriate to speak briefly about the impacts COVID-19 has had on NJ Transit and how we're preparing for the eventual return of our riders. As you know, Governor, our transit workforce has not been immune to the effects of the virus by any means. Certainly Tiran, the mention of Tiran tugs at all our heart strings. But despite that, really our dedicated employees the whole time have kept the system moving for those essential employees who are on the front line of the pandemic. And really, we feel it's about heroes moving heroes.
As of Friday, we had a total of 542 employees test positive; including Tiran, we've now lost a total of 13 members of our New Jersey Transit family to complications from COVID-19, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones at this difficult time. If you look at the graph, we should have one -- thank you. We have here now, it charts the daily total of current quarantines, current positives, and the total of those returned to workforce from March 30 through yesterday. Thankfully, all the numbers are moving in the right direction. I think that's a real credit to the numerous protective measures we put in place. The red bars moving up like a hockey stick over time is a number that we're really pleased about. We've had over 2,150 employees return to work who either tested positive or required to quarantine at home. The green bar represents the current number of quarantined employees, and is also incredibly encouraging.
We peak between the second and third week of April when we had more than 1,000 employees out of our roughly 12,000 employees quarantined at the same time, and that number now is at 263 and continuing a steady decline. The blue bar is showing the number of employees who are currently positive, shows a flattening of the curve from a high of nearly 300 positive cases at the same time. We're now in double digits for the first time at 93 current positive cases. That significant improvement did not happen by accident. It was a result of relentless commitment by all hard-working men and women of New Jersey Transit to ensure we operated the safest possible transit system for our employees and our customers, and it has been and remains our highest priority.
The customers riding the system the last two months were the recipients of an extensive communication campaign that provided up-to-date information on our COVID-19 responses across all available channels. If we look at slide two, you can get an indication, messages we're seeing board vehicles, on digital monitors in stations and terminals across the system, regular and frequent social media posts, and even TV and radio public service announcements that aired on major networks and stations. Information included everything from recommendations about how to slow the spread of the virus to the disinfecting of our vehicles every 24 hours, a practice that began before the first positive cases were identified in New Jersey, and will continue for the foreseeable future.
Some of the other preventative measures we took included implementing rear door boarding on buses and eliminating cash transactions on board. And as per the Governor's Executive Order 125, we were one of the first to require customers and employees to wear face coverings and limit the number of passengers to 50% of a vehicle's capacity, all measures that have contributed to slowing the spread.
While we continue to take all measures to maintain the safest system possible for our customers and employees, we've been developing our recovery plan to prepare for our customers return to the system. Before I talk about our recovery planning, I wanted to share what we've done to prepare for New York City's phase one reopening today.
On the bus side, we were already running on a modified weekday schedule since the end of April, operating just shy of 13,000 daily trips, of the approximately 16,500 daily trips on a full schedule. Effective today, we return to what is essentially the full weekday bus schedule. We've also built in some flexibility to make adjustments as needed, based on demand, as we've been doing since the onset of the pandemic. On rail, we continue to operate on an enhanced holiday schedule. We still have significant capacity on trains, as there has been no appreciable increase in ridership.
Even so, beginning today, we've deployed additional train crews and equipment strategically around our system in case they are needed. Our operating divisions will be monitoring closely our ridership daily and will continue to make necessary adjustments. I'll now move on to discuss NJ Transit's recovery planning. We branded it as New Jersey Transit, Your Ride to Recovery, and the first campaign will be Safe NJ. We want to ensure the roughly 90% of our customers who haven't been riding over the last two months that our system is safe, clean and ready for their return. And for the 10% or so who have been riding, we're continuing to work harder than ever.
Behind the scenes, we've been doing an incredible amount of work on the planning process, developing ridership projections, conducting extensive customer surveys, and regularly engaging with our peer agencies in the region, as well as across the country and internationally. As the Governor's representative from New Jersey on a seven-state Transportation Task Force, I meet regularly with the state representatives from Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Delaware. We are all going to face similar challenges when ridership begins to exceed the 50% mark, and we all agree that it's difficult to take the mass out of mass transit. That's why we know that the recovery plan must include shared responsibilities if we're going to be able to be successful. Here's what I mean by that.
We at New Jersey Transit are responsible for maintaining the cleanest and safest possible transit system for our customers and employees. That means continuing to clean and disinfect vehicles every 24 hours, regularly cleaning and disinfecting our stations and facilities, ensuring our frontline employees have the necessary PPE, gloves and face coverings, and communicating effectively and constantly, which includes real-time information to our customers, and delivering service that appropriately matches increase in demand as ridership begins to return to the system.
But as our customers, here's what you can do to help make this a success. Continue to comply with requirements to wear a face covering. It is the most effective that we have seen in preventing the spread. Be cognitive of distancing to the greatest extent possible. If you're sick, please stay home. If you have underlying medical conditions, you should stay at home or consider an alternative to mass transit. And if you need to go to your workplace, please check with your employer to see if they can stagger your work days or hours, or continue to work from home. Safe NJ is our communications campaign designed to help customers during their return, by encouraging and reinforcing safe behavior while riding the system.
And finally, I would say employers have an important role to play as well in sharing the responsibility for a successful recovery and how they can do their part. By allowing all employees who can work from home to continue to work from home, please do so. And when working from home is not feasible, offer flexible hours and stagger work shifts. We're all in this together and if we each commit to doing our part, we will avoid further spread of the virus and flatten the peak travel curves, those AM and PM curves, by spreading the ridership more evenly to deliver the safest possible customer experience, until all restrictions are lifted.
Now that brings me to the announcement I mentioned earlier. What I'm about to share is not only incredibly exciting for New Jersey Transit, it is also transformational, not just for our organization, and will yield benefits for our customers, our employees and many external stakeholders, as well as the Great State of New Jersey. It is a culmination of more than two years' worth of work by employees from across the entire organization and incorporates feedback from customers, elected officials, transit advocates and other external stakeholders. I'm extremely grateful to the Governor for allowing me to share this venue for this occasion and I'm extremely proud to announce the launch of NJ Transit's first comprehensive 10-year strategic plan, NJ 2030 and our first public-facing five-year capital plan.
I believe that slide there, you can see I believe Governor Murphy said it best at a State of the State earlier this year when Governor, you said if the transit system doesn't know where it's going, it's never going to get there. And Governor, we couldn't agree more with you, and I'm confident that NJ 2030 and our five-year capital plan provides us with the direction that the agency was so sorely lacking when we arrived. Not only does this transit system now know where it's going, but we're going to get it there.
I think if you look for the next slide, I'll start with the NJ 2030, this 10-year strategic plan. I'll provide a high level overview of the strategic and capital plans, but you can visit njtplans.com to view each plan in its entirety. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly has reinforced the need for a long-term strategic plan that is anything but static. NJ 2030. is a living document that we fully expect to refine as we progress towards 2030, that provides a core strategic vision for our organization with the flexibility to evolve to meet the ever-changing and sometimes unexpected needs of our customers and our region.
The plan's five overarching goals, which you see here, along with the 26 strategies and more than 100 strategic initiatives carve out an ambitious roadmap for NJ Transit. But the plan is really about our customers and putting them first in every decision we make. We've included metrics for measuring success. This plan will hold us accountable for meeting deliverables within the first two years, and then in a longer scenario from three to five years, and then the third phase, the years six through 10. Some of these deliverables include goals for improving on-time performance, increasing service on the most congested bus routes, fleet replacement, including the advancements of our net zero emission bus program, station rehabilitations and improving accessibility to the system. Again, those are just a few examples, and I encourage you to visit njtplans.com to review NJT 2030 and provide your feedback as we continue to refine this plan moving forward.
Through this plan and the capital plan, which I'll speak to in a second, we will continue to build on the progress of the last few years with a well-defined roadmap for the next 10. I'll now speak to the capital plan. I'm extremely proud of the hard work that went into our five-year capital plan. The development of this plan started approximately two years ago. I must admit I was rather shocked that one of the nation's largest transit agencies did not have a five-year capital plan, and so one of the first orders of business when I arrived was to order a system-wide condition assessment of our capital assets. In order to prioritize projects, you need to know the condition of your assets. I was frankly surprised that an essential element such as this didn't even exist. The plan will also allow for the effective management based on crucial lifecycle costs. That optimal decision point between continuing to maintain an asset versus replacing the asset. If you think of it in terms of your own car, at some point, it is more cost effective, rather than maintaining it, to purchase a new car. We are currently maintaining locomotives that are more than 50 years old. Simply put, upgrading infrastructure in a modern fleet provide reliability and efficiency, driving down operating costs and expenses.
I want to note that this is also a rolling five-year capital plan, and it is unconstrained vision for New Jersey Transit, a plan that makes NJ Transit a world-class system and puts customer's needs first. What unconstrained means is it includes projects that are currently proceeding with funding already in place, as well as projects that are not funded but are vital to New Jersey Transit service delivery. This unconstrained plan will be used to help determine the priority of capital projects within any future constrained capital plan. An amount of $5.78 billion in additional funding would be required over the next five years to implement all the projects and other initiatives contemplated in the plan. While a large sum, when compared to the constrained or funded capital plans of agencies like the MTA or LA Metro, it is really quite modest.
The plan was developed using five overarching project values shown here, which were used for project prioritization criteria. Each of more than 100 projects in the plan include project sheets that provide estimated costs, include the capital plan project values, and the strategic plan goals in support. The projects and programs in the capital plan range from $1 million to $3 billion and either are already in progress or identified as vital for consideration.
On the next slide, I think the impact of the plan is more than just the capital improvements themselves. The Rutgers Center for Advanced infrastructure and Transportation estimates that the plan will generate $54.9 billion of economic output within the state $15 billion of earnings for New Jersey employees, which is the equivalent of 245,000 FTE job years for New Jersey employees; job years reflects a single year of a full-time employment. Clearly the capital plans offer a significant return on investment, and will also better position us to successfully secure additional funding through available grants and other sources. The plan also has comprehensive vision for transit and environmental advocacy groups, business and employee organizations, to rally support for funding that is so critical to deliver the caliber service our customers deserve.
Again, I'll leave the rest of the plan for you all to review at njtplans.com, and I want to thank you, Governor, for your leadership and continued support for NJ Transit, as well as Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti who was unable to join us today. I can tell you that despite current challenges, I have never been more optimistic about the future of NJ Transit, and I couldn't be more pleased that NJ Transit will provide more than just service and helping in the state's recovery. We all have a significant role in driving New Jersey's economic recovery following the pandemic as well. Governor, that's all I have and again, thanks for having me today.
Governor Phil Murphy: Kevin, thank you very much for being here today, for your leadership. A couple of quick things. Most importantly, we mourn the loss of the 13 brothers and sisters in the NJ Transit family to COVID-19. We pray for the still-recovering hundreds who were infected by this. We mentioned Tiran Billups today, Ray Kenny we mentioned some number of weeks ago, a guy who was in many respects your right-hand man and a good friend to many of us, including myself, so that's point number one. Point number two folks, again repeat www.njtplans.com. I encourage folks to take some time and really go through these plans, the first time they've existed in a long time at NJ Transit.
And thirdly, let's just remember the broader frame. We are the densest state in the nation. We also sit in the densest neighborhood in the nation. If you're going to get one thing right in New Jersey, which makes it even more remarkable the more you think about it, that when we got here, NJ Transit had been wrecked. But if you're going to get one thing right, it's the ability to move people and things around better and now safely, particularly with this pandemic, better than any other state in America. And these plans go right at those objectives. So, to you and your team Kevin, thank you. And by the way, you yourself have recovered, so it's good to see you looking so well, and you struggle with this as well so God bless you and great to have you back.
With that, please help me welcome the woman on my right 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 the department is releasing guidelines that will help ensure the health and safety of our children, camp workers and the greater community from the infection and the spread of COVID-19. The guidelines set parameters on appropriate social distancing, face coverings, and other hygiene practices, staggered arrivals and dismissals, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection.
Campers and staff must be screened for fever or signs of COVID-19 illness prior to being permitted to enter the facility or participating in camp programming. Persons that have a fever or other signs of illness must not be admitted to the camp. Campers and staff members should be educated on steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Groups should include the same children each day, with the same staff person, if possible. Mixing between groups should be restricted. Camps should avoid communal dining and stagger mealtimes to ensure social distancing of groups. And again, surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized between each meal service.
Staff are encouraged to wear cloth masks while working, unless doing so would interfere with the individual's health or the individual is outside in extreme heat, or the individual is in the water. Cloth face coverings for staff and campers should be worn when social distancing of six feet between assigned groups cannot be maintained, unless the individual falls under one of the exceptions. Cloth face coverings should not be put on children under the age of two. All youth camps are prohibited from off-site activities, engaging in full contact sports, and providing resident or overnight camp activities. Hand wash and hand sanitizer stations should be provided in numerous areas around the camp. Gloves should be worn when handling or serving food to campers. Social distancing is encouraged during busing transportation to and from the camp. Vehicles should be cleaned and disinfected between each use, and face coverings should be worn when social distancing cannot be maintained.
All youth day camps, including municipal day camps, are required to submit a youth camp attestation form. The attestation form must be submitted no later than 24 hours prior to the opening date. Acknowledging that their facility has in place COVID-19 youth day camp policies and procedures.
Opening of camps is important for New Jersey families who are in need of childcare services as a viable option, in addition to traditional childcare centers. As we open up more activities, we have guidance in place in order to protect the public's health. As a state, we have made tremendous progress in reducing the spread of COVID-19. But we cannot let our guard down. People can spread the virus before they know they are sick, so we must continue to take precautions to protect our health and those of our loved ones. Ensure you are safely distancing from others, at least six feet, which is about two arm's length. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. Wear a face covering that covers your mouth and nose. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, especially with unwashed hands. Stay home if you're sick. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread the virus. We all have a role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
The governor has shared the daily statistics, 1,724 hospitalizations, with 489 individuals in critical care; 74% of those patients are on ventilators. There are two new cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children reported since Friday, for a total of 39 cases in our state. The children affected have either tested positive for active COVID-19 infection or had antibody tests that were positive, indicating exposure to the virus. Thankfully, there are no deaths reported at this time in New Jersey. The ages of children affected range from 1 to 8. One child is currently still hospitalized. The breakdown of race and ethnicity is as follows: White 22%, Black 34%, Hispanic 38%, Asian 6% and other 3%. I want to emphasize that although the population size is small, it appears to be disproportionately affecting Black children at 34% and Hispanic children at 38%.
The Governor reviewed the new cases and deaths. In terms of deaths, the breakdown is similar to what I've reported in the past. White 53.8%, Black 18.5%, Hispanic 20.4%, Asian 5.7%, other 1.6%. The state veterans homes numbers remain the same, as do the psychiatric hospitals. The daily percent positivity for New Jersey overall is 3.61%. The northern part of the state is 2.76%, Central is 3.49%, the South is 5.81%. So that concludes my daily statistical report. Please continue to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Stay connected, stay safe and stay healthy. Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: Judy, thank you. It's undeniable, I know the N or the denominator is small for the child inflammatory syndrome, but the fatalities number now over 12,000. There's no question that communities of color, we've said this year before over the past now several months, but if you want to look at the legacy, the stain of racism from slavery, you can look at it through a whole different number of lenses. One of them is the health lens and we speak to it almost every day. And this children's inflammatory syndrome is yet another data point that, again, as you caution us, 37 cases is not a huge number, but the numbers do jump out at you. That is something that we would be ignorant to not learn from, react to and figure out what we need to do to be better than that. Thank you for that and for everything, not just the report, but everything.
Pat, we had dozens and dozens and dozens of protests over the weekend. We had good weather on both days. So beaches and parks, and then of course, we had the other sort of day in and day out reality of dealing with COVID-19 and the state moving under its own steam, as it does. Any updates on any of the above? Thank you.
State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: Thank you, Governor. Good afternoon on the compliance over the weekend, that's Friday, Saturday and Sunday, just a handful of incidents all which revolved around citations of non-essential business and not adhering to the executive orders. To your point, beaches and parks. I had no reports of any noteworthy events over the weekend and trust that will continue. To your other point, we had more than 130 demonstrations and protests over the weekend. Again, each and every one of them ending peacefully, which is a report that I am always welcome to read. Today, there are 17 that we've been advised of and I've gotten an update just as I'm sitting here, those that have completed already, again, ended peacefully and that is certainly appreciated by not only all in attendance, but all law enforcement that are asked to be there as well. That's all I've got, Gov.
Governor Phil Murphy: Pat, I would just say the two that I was at yesterday, law enforcement was standing tall, really impressive, the entirety of each of the events was impressive, literally every aspect of it. I'm happy to say I don't recall seeing, literally in either Hillside or Westfield, literally can't recall seeing one person without a mask. Literally, I can't recall seeing one person. We're talking about thousands and thousands of people. So hats off and thank you for that, as always.
Dante, we're going to start over here. Every time we say we're going to see you at one o'clock, we end up changing it. Today is no exception. But tomorrow, I'm pretty confident, Dan, we will be together at one o'clock. And let's just remember what we've got coming up. We're going to give the guidance on pools tomorrow. Judy did on camps, as you just heard. We'll be soon giving guidance, updating guidance on indoor gatherings because we promised faith and worship the ability to worship together indoors, subject to some pretty clear parameters. We'd begin this Friday, June 12. We have on Monday, June 15, outdoor dining. We have non-essential retail and we have daycare all on Monday, the 15th. And on the 22nd, not only do we have pools and again, we'll give the guidance on that, Judy will by tomorrow, but we also have hair salons, nail salons, barber shops on the 22nd. And again, we keep seeing the sorts of numbers that we're seeing, expect more and I hope sooner than later. With that, Elise, good afternoon.
Elise Young, Bloomberg: Hi, good afternoon. What is the funding pool for the New Jersey Transit capital plan? Do you anticipate fare increases to help pay for this? What about a dedicated funding stream from the state? Is this plan feasible in the next five years, given the New Jersey Transit funding cuts from the state budget for 2020 and 2021, as a result of the coronavirus-related revenue shortfall? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: Let me start, Elise, and then I'll hand it to Kevin for the specifics and he'll correct the record. We haven't promised forever on no fares, but I'd like to continue to look out on the horizon and say no fare increases, at least I think we promised through June 30 next year. I hope we can go longer than that, but it's too early to tell. But computers got completely crushed over the eight years prior to our getting here in terms of fare increases on the one hand, and service reductions on the other.
And I would just say again, Kevin can get into the details, but the ability to borrow at the state level. Again, the Assembly has taken that step. We laud them. We hear some good noises coming out of the Senate. We need that to get over the goal line and then even more importantly, we need the direct federal cash assistance. There's just no way around that for any number of reasons, including general budgetary matters, even those specific to NJ Transit. Kevin, could you give us quick comments on the source of funding?
NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett: Sure, I would say obviously as the Governor just said on the federal side, that is critical. Certainly investing in New Jersey and New Jersey Transit is a great way of helping to feed the golden goose. More money goes from New Jersey to Washington than comes up, so investing in transit, not only does it help, fair and equitable for a lot of the people who ride our system, frankly as we've seen, the most essential are often low-income riders, so to put it on the state and certainly put it on riders in a fare increase, I would agree with the Governor, it seems very untimely.
But I think the importance of, particularly the five-year capital plan and a 10-year strategic plan is to look at any one time. We have to live with a certain financial reality, but I think when you see what it takes to be a first-class system, this is what it's going to take over a period of time. Any one year, you may have a push and pull, a joke in the industry is a five-year can become a six-year plan, but there's no doubt by having that, I think it really helps galvanize businesses, civic groups, environmental groups to get behind to help that advocacy for the funding, both at the federal level with our Congressional delegation, as well as working with the Legislature to help get dedicated funding for New Jersey Transit.
Governor Phil Murphy: Thank you, Kevin. Thanks, Elise. Matt, Good afternoon.
Matt Arco, Star-Ledger: Good afternoon. Governor, I'm curious if you've watched the video the parkway shooting that the AG released? If so, do you have any reaction and have you talked to the man's family? Curious if anybody in New Jersey has tested positive for COVID from the Memorial Day gathering at the house in Cape May County?
And Governor I just kind of wanted to get your reaction on Assemblyman Weber and some other GOP lawmakers who criticized you for breaking your own Executive Order about public gatherings over the weekend, and maybe even specifically about how people have been ticketed here in Trenton for gathering and protesting, and just your reaction to that.
Governor Phil Murphy: So Matt, I have not seen the video and have not spoken to the family. But that is, first of all, the video I think was just released a few minutes ago. And secondly, I just have to stress and reiterate a point I made already that this is an independent process based on the bill that I signed and the Attorney General's guidance that was based on that law, and that's the way it should be. It needs to be that way and the good news, notwithstanding a loss of life, is that's exactly what is happening. This will end up, it will find its way to a grand jury.
I've got no more color, is the Cape May gathering the one where the folks were from Pennsylvania, went back? I've got no color on it, but I was concerned when I saw that. And if we do get more color, I don't know where Dan has gone, but we'll get back to you on it. But I just would reiterate, indoors, people packed in together, sedentary in particular, lacking in ventilation, and I can't say that that was the case in Cape May County, but it sounded like it was an indoor, those are still hard nuts to crack and we've got to be careful on that.
Listen, I have not -- I've only seen a couple of headlines. This may be one of the most profound moments in the history of our country, and I don't say that lightly. And it does feel different this time. And again, we're in the first year of the fifth century since slavery first came to our shores and the stain of racism is alive and well and it's before our very eyes, whether it's in George Floyd's loss of life, a life that by any measure should not have been lost, or whether it's the health data that Judy and I speak to every day. And I do think this is a profound, filled with gravity, momentous moment in our nation's history.
Now, do I want everybody to be covering their face and do everything they can to achieve social distancing? And by the way, even if you did, please go out and be tested? Yes. Do we need these protests to be peaceful? We do. And so far, New Jersey has distinguished itself, as it has time and again, in particular over the past several months. And Pat and I, when Pat says what he says I always literally knock on wood, just as I do when Judy says the child inflammation syndrome has not led to any loss of life, I always hit the wood on that. It has to stay peaceful, but this is a moment that I think is bigger than any of us right now, and so I'll leave it at that. Thank you. And again, we'll come back to you on the Cape May, because I'm frankly concerned. Sir, do you have anything? You good? Where's this guy?
Reporter: I think he's editing video.
Governor Phil Murphy: Okay. Dustin, good afternoon.
Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: Good afternoon. Will New Jersey Transit be providing a plan specific to the pandemic describing how it will enforce face coverings and social distancing and things like cleaning procedures? If not, why? There's likely to be hiccups during the reopening and when mass transit is back up and running, how will transit communicate with customers who notice issues on the commute and let customers know when or if their concerns are addressed?
And Senator Weinberg recently wrote a letter to Transit about the customer advocate position being fundamentally reformed. Has that been done?
Governor, have there been issues that you know have with distributing the $600 federal pandemic assistance this week? And is it fair to interpret what you're saying about the protests, in your view, that the cause of the protests are more important than public health?
Governor Phil Murphy: No, on the last point, I would not say that. Public health is important, and it has to be important because the last thing, we've already -- we've gone through hell and the last thing we need to do is go through hell again. Judy would remind me that these are outside, which is a good data point. Having seen it up close, by the way, these are the first two events I've gone to since I had surgery, by the way. I've gone to look at openings of wings of the field medical stations we've done together in Addison, Secaucus, Atlantic City, we did East Orange General Hospital. We've gone for a run on the boardwalk. We've done runs in parks, but I haven't been to an event myself, and I would say the challenge is social distancing. The challenge is not masks. In fact, not only are masks being given out in some cases at the beginning of these protests, but in fact, on the invitations, they basically say, don't show up if you don't have a mask. So no, I wouldn't say that.
But I would say, I think we can say both. That this is an extraordinary moment in our nation's history and we have to be vigilant about public health. I believe, Dustin, I'm going backwards, I believe and then I'll turn it over to Kevin. I believe there was a hiccup at one of the banks this weekend that distributes unemployment insurance. I don't know if it was related to the $600 federal piece or not, but we will come back to you. It was not our -- it was not the state, it was not our systems. I believe one of the big banks that is involved in the direct deposits had a systems failure this weekend.
Again, I'll leave it to Kevin to answer briefly, NJ Transit's got to be vigilant on face coverings and social distancing because it is in fact, as I mentioned a minute ago to Matt's question, it's indoors by definition, and we've got to be incredibly vigilant about face coverings, social distancing and hygiene. And I would guess there will be hiccups as the state gets back on its feet generally, never mind NJ Transit, we're going to find our way forward as best we can, and I'll leave it to Kevin to put any more color on that, as well as Senator Weinberg's letter, please.
NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett: Thank you, Governor. I think the plan, there's a couple of things to note about the plan. We do have a plan in place which really tied in with Executive Order 125 at the time, that's sort of the current plan and that is the 50%, you know, everyone wearing face masks. The daily, as I mentioned in my comments, we were one of the first to have daily sanitizing, cleaning and sanitizing of all our vehicles.
The second phase which is just part of the launch that I said opening is our Road to Recovery plan and a phase being with the Safe NJ. I think it's interesting to note today, for example, the opening of New York because a lot of the attention is on the New York reopening and what does that mean for us, understandably enough. But we really have seen in the last few months, oh say rail, we're low of 3, 3.5% of our ridership was at our absolute worst lowest, and we're now up to about 8, between 8% and 9% which is still, on average, you know, in some of the trains you're starting getting, you know, 20%, 25% so as those numbers go, we'll see it rise. But the real driver has been mainly intrastate travel, and that's on our bus and that's where we're really watching you know, the 50%, and we have more flexibility to put more buses on as that comes up. But ultimately we will be going up against that 50% and that's where you know, as the Governor said, face masks, trying to flatten those a AM and PM peaks, flatten the curves or get people to stretch out. So until there is a medical, until there's a vaccine or some other medical breakthrough where people do not have to be as concerned of that, we really need to stretch that out as long as possible.
The New York numbers though this morning, we saw both on bus and rail, the bus routes that normally go into New York, you know, Route 9 corridor, for example, very minimal, if any variation. We've been having a very slight gradual trend over the last month, but as far as this being an opening, we're going to be vigilant but we do not see anything. We really see at this point still being driven more by the intrastate than the interstate.
Governor Phil Murphy: Kevin, on commuter advocate, real quick, if you could.
NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett: Yes, we're looking at certainly it is important that that be a credible position, and we certainly have mentioned to Senator Weinberg, glad to talk to her, get together. I spoke to her earlier today also about the capital plan and we'll be in touch to do that, to make sure that communication as an advocate, but also that we really communicate as robustly and both directions.
Governor Phil Murphy: You know, Kevin said something that we haven't said in a while, but it's worth -- I'll now turn to my right, but Kevin triggered it. You know, this is not a life sentence we're talking about here, right? So you hope at some point, we have sooner than later therapeutics that are explicitly for COVID-19 as opposed to, hey, it works over here, let's try it here. When that happens, I don't know, I'm not sure anyone knows that we have ultimately, please God, a vaccine for this so that this is, I hope, not a permanent. A lot of what we talk about, we talk about how is school going to look? What are the protocols tomorrow that Judy is going to come up with on pools? You know, God willing this is for a window of time, and not for the rest of time. We skipped you. I'm being more benevolent than I have any right to be, but I will come back to you and give you a chance if you've got something. Thank you.
Reporter: Governor, unfortunately, I'm going to take advantage of that. I've got a list of questions here.
Governor Phil Murphy: Got to be short, not a long one.
Reporter: Can do. Commissioner Corbett, will NJ Transit add buses and trains to increase available social distancing for riders? When will full service be restored? And what is NJ Transit's financial situation given the current recession due to COVID and the state budget hole? What is the impact of the COVID lockdown on positive train control preparations? And will we make the deadline that's six months away?
Even with a reduced schedule, we've noticed that some trains haven't been able to be staffed due to either unavailable engineers, is that due to the COVID pandemic or is that something that's beyond the current situation?
Finally, Governor and Commissioner, you've talked recently about the importance of RT data in particular. Is this rate something the state has been tracking all along? And if so, how has it been used in the past? And why did we wait until June to make it part of the public message? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: Let me start before Kevin jumps in and just say that I think we've covered some of this when you were out, so you can look at the stream and get some of the answers. There's only so much capacity we can add back. This is a big challenge. And by the way, this gives me the opportunity to do another commercial for the Gateway Project. Because we still, COVID or not, we still only have two tunnels under the Hudson. We only have two tunnels and the George Washington Bridge as it relates to bus reality and commuting reality generally.
Full service, Kevin, just real quick, financial situation I think we hit, which is it's another reason why we need the ability to bond and borrow money. It's also another big reason why we need federal cash assistance. Not just as a general budgetary matter, but specific. This is as good an example as any specific to NJ Transit. Could you just address real quick full service, staffing and PTC?
I'd say lastly, RT is something that we've looked at privately over time. I don't want to speak for Judy or Tina, but I think we were also able to capture, this is just yet another lens to share with people. We've been, I think, able to show you trends in hospitalizations, positivity rates, both cumulatively as well as spot. This is yet another angle. We're constantly trying to add a little bit of a different lens for folks to sort of give them a sense of a different dimension as to how we're looking at this, and that's just something over the past several weeks we've started to do more publicly.
Real quick on service, staffing, PTC, Kevin.
NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett: Sure, on the service, our bus actually is at, we're now at full service. We're pulling back on some of the routes where there's literally no ridership, to keep that as a cushion, but our service for bus now is at normal service. Rail, we're holding back as we do have capacity and we have, as I mentioned, extra crews and trains where we see a bump, but we have not seen the need to pull that yet. So we will adjust the schedules as we start to see, as we monitor the ridership come back.
As far as engineer's availability, there have been spots, particularly in the early, we did have engineers, you know, we have two divisions, Hoboken and Newark division. Newark seemed to be hit harder, no particular reason. But those numbers as part of that curve that I showed you is coming back, so the engineer availability has --
Governor Phil Murphy: No particular reason except Essex County has the most amount of fatalities of any county in the state, and obviously it got slammed, so please. PTC?
NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett: PTC, we are working, we are keeping the vendors feet to the fire, a lot of that is software related, but we are doing extensive testing. Today we're testing on four of the different lines, in fact, so we intend to meet that deadline and working very closely with the FRA to make sure that our vendor delivers.
Governor Phil Murphy: Thank you, Kevin. Thank you, sir. Dave, good afternoon.
David Matthau, NJ 101.5: Hi, Governor. A growing number of people, Democrats and Republicans and Independents who support the Floyd protests and what they stand for are confused and concerned, and in some cases angered, that you are picking and choosing how the Executive Order that you created is being applied. Why are protests with hundreds and thousands of people shoulder to shoulder, some without masks being allowed, but other small gatherings that affect people's livelihoods and other things like graduations that can be social distanced properly, are still not being allowed?
You've repeatedly talked for weeks and actually months about how one standard based on science, data and fact should be applied to our entire state, and yet this seems to be changing for protests. Why doesn't the executive order apply to this situation?
And as was referenced previously, you attended a couple of protests over the weekend, so you're violating your own Executive Order. Doesn't this seem hypocritical when you're asking the entire state to follow everything else that you're saying? But in this case, there's an exception based on your take on it. I think the key here is the logic. People don't understand the logic of this.
Governor Phil Murphy: I got it, thank you. Okay, so I think I've already addressed this, and let me also say that Matt and Pat would want me to remind folks that this is up to local law enforcement, in any case. And so I believe it's true. And if it's not true, then I stand corrected that in any other non anti-racism protests that I'm aware of that was related to COVID-19 that's occurred, A there have been very few citations, but B, they've been directed only at the organizers. And so I walked away from Hillside, I walked away from Westfield. I'm going to say a couple of thousand in Hillside, probably more than that in Westfield. Pat, you tell me if you see this differently, or Matt, there's also a decision to be made for public safety locally. How many protests over the weekend?
State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: 130.
Governor Phil Murphy: 130. As I say, I repeat my point. This is a moment In time, perhaps unlike any in our nation's history. There is an overwhelming amount of anger and passion and by the way, it's all been incredibly peaceful. I mean overwhelmingly so, particularly in New Jersey and we should be very proud of that. I can't imagine what it would look like if we said to people actually you have to stay in. You have to ignore systemic racism. I'm sorry, just ignore it. Just stay inside. You can't go out and voice your anger, your rightful anger. I can't imagine what that looks like as it relates to public safety. And so I would add that dimension to my answer, which is I think this is literally unique in our nation's history. I do think this is an inflection point. I do believe this does feel differently this time. And please God it does.
I mentioned this in Westfield. Let's not ever allow this, like next week as it's happened so often, to slip into the back pages in the newspaper. I'm the last guy in the state who probably reads the physical newspaper. And it's no longer top of mind, it doesn't feel that way. It feels different this time. It's up to us to make sure that it stays different. And so that's my answer. Thank you. Please, you'll take us out.
Reporter: Good afternoon. Is it safe to say then that people who attend these protests have some leniency in regards to these social distancing guidelines? And then for the colonel, you received a letter today from the Assemblyman Jay Webber in regards to his belief that the Governor committed two separate violations of the Executive Order. He trusts that you will uphold your public duty to the fair and consistent enforcement of our laws at this time, that's quoting him. What's your response to his letter? Thank you.
Governor Phil Murphy: Is that it? I've got nothing else to add on your first question. I've already answered it several times, so you'll forgive me. Pat?
State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: I think the Governor's already addressed it with regard to one, it is a local law enforcement decision, and two, that for the last three months, I think we've been striking that balance between public safety and public health. I think we've seen that every day for the last three months and that's my response to that correspondence.
Governor Phil Murphy: Thank you. Thanks to everybody, Judy and Tina, thank you, as always, for being here and for your extraordinary leadership. Kevin, it's a treat to have you with us. Good luck as you roll these plans out. We need you. Again, we're the densest state in America, we've got to be safe, and we've got to be good. And if we're both of those things, that's a huge, huge weapon in our economic development going forward. Pat, as always, thank you. Let's hope that the peaceful protest string of success we've got stays as good as it is, and thank you for your leadership. Jared and Matt and Dan and the whole team here, again, we'll be with you at one o'clock tomorrow unless you hear otherwise.
And to everybody out there, thank you. Thank you for being extraordinary from moment one in COVID-19, we've outperformed every state in America. You saw that map, we're in a group of only six states, when you add up key metrics, on testing, on capacity, on reduction of cases, we're at the top of the class and on behalf of Judy and Pat and the rest of us, let's stay that way. You've been extraordinary. Keep it up. We're going to continue to open things up as you heard today, and you'll hear tomorrow and we're going to continue to get that. I got my reservation for a week from tonight, and very excited about that.
And then secondly, in this profound, filled with emotion, passion, a sense of history moment in our country, you've been extraordinary, folks. Stay peaceful. Please do, let's balance the public health. There's no reason, in my opinion, you can't have both the rightful anger and peaceful protests and be healthy. So try your best to stay distant, wear a face covering period, full stop, get tested. God bless you all. We'll see you tomorrow.