Governor Phil Murphy

TRANSCRIPT: July 15th, 2020 Coronavirus Briefing Media


Governor Phil Murphy: I have to break protocol and say this mask was given to me by Judy Persichilli and her colleagues. Wearing it with pride, Judy. Good afternoon. I am joined by the woman to my right who needs no introduction, the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judy Persichilli. To her right, another familiar face, the State's Epidemiologist, Dr. Christina Tan, great to have you both. We welcome back with a full heart Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Pat Callahan, and very happy to say that Mrs. Linda Callahan, nurse by trade, mom and wife, is back home, continue to be in our prayers.

Later today, the Department of Health, under Judy's leadership, will be releasing guidelines that will allow the parents or legal guardians of pediatric developmentally disabled and intellectually disabled residents of our long-term care facilities to arrange for by-appointment visits with their loved ones. Outdoor visitations will continue, per the directive that the Department issued prior to Father's Day, and facilities will need to submit attestations to the department before any visitations can occur. Additionally, this would allow for indoor visitation to facilities which have had zero new, probable, or confirmed coronavirus cases recorded in a 28-day period. All visitors will be screened for symptoms, will follow all infection control protocols regarding masking and hygiene, and visitations would be restricted to certain areas to minimize exposure to other residents. Facilities must also have their own written guidelines in place before any visitation can occur.

We know that this has been a trying time for the families of residents in these settings. However, as we've mentioned before, when it comes to some of our state's most vulnerable residents, we have had to take extra precautions to save lives. But with these guidelines in place and with the proper safety protocols in place within these facilities, I'm grateful that families will be able to once again be together. God bless them all.

Next, as it was reported yesterday, the list of states from which travelers to New Jersey are being advised to observe a 14-day self-quarantine period has been updated. Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin have all been added. And, as Delaware has seen a sustained improvement in its public health metrics, it has been removed from the list. We continue to ask everyone who has been in one of these 22 impacted states to practice self-responsibility and good citizenship and comply with our travel advisories. This goes equally whether you are a visitor to our state or a New Jersey resident returning from one of these states. If you've got any question, visit for the complete list of states and to learn whether you should be self-quarantining. And we further urge you to get a coronavirus test to ensure your health and safety and that of those around you. We have the capacity to provide tests, more than 240 locations statewide and again, a link to a searchable list of sites is also available at

Our 14-day self-quarantine advisory for those who have come through a known coronavirus hotspot is there for a reason. We have done tremendous work to make New Jersey a leader in the nationwide effort to mitigate this pandemic and we cannot have this work undone by anyone who was in a known hotspot and may have unknowingly brought the virus back to New Jersey with them. Our work to bring this pandemic under control here in New Jersey continues and we simply cannot risk more cases coming in from elsewhere.

Today, we're announcing 396 new positive test results and since March 4, we have reported a total of 176,278 positive results for coronavirus. The daily positivity rate for tests recorded on July 10 was 2.13%. This keeps us among the lowest positivity rates in the entire country, although Judy, it's up a hair since yesterday. But it's still among the best in the nation. It speaks to our ability, all of us, to meet our needs for testing on a daily basis and also the great personal responsibility that millions of you have taken. Our rate of transmission currently stands at 0.93, meaning that the rate of spread is below one, and that means it's slowing. Again, a little bit up from the past couple of days.

But the only way we can keep both our positivity and our rate of transmission in the green, so to speak, is by taking the precautions that we have across the past four months. That means, again, social distancing, wearing a face mask whenever you're out in public, washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and staying at home if you exhibit any symptoms of respiratory illness.

In our hospitals yesterday, there were 923 patients being treated for COVID-19. Again, that is up slightly from yesterday. The number of patients requiring intensive care was 151, about flat, and there were 78 ventilators in use, that's down a hair. As we have noted, the numbers in our hospitals continue to trend in the right direction and this is, by all measures, a good sign. But as Judy has noted many times before, the increasing rate of spread of this disease among younger residents, those who may be asymptomatic or whose Illness may not proceed to where they need to be hospitalized, that fact remains troubling. This is why we still need to be vigilant. Don't be a virus spreader to family members or others who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19. Look at how we rank here nationally. We still rank way too high in terms of those in the hospital and those dying from this virus.

When you wear a mask, you help protect those who are vulnerable from you. Be selfless, help us push our numbers lower, wear a mask. And here's why. Today we have the solemn responsibility to report that another 27 deaths have been confirmed from complications of COVID-19 and that the total toll on our state is now 13,660 confirmed losses of life. The number of probable losses due to COVID-19 has been increased slightly to 1,974. Judy will give more color, as we had begun to over the past week or so, on the deaths that we report in a given day, what the what the build up to that looks like. Again we are proud of the accuracy and we, if anything else, are going to err on the side of being conservative on reporting these numbers, but Judy will give you some more color. As we do every time we come together, let's remember a few more of those souls we have lost.

We'll begin today in Dover, in Morris County, to remember Orfilia De Jesus on the left. She came to this country from her native Columbia, and was a proud Dover resident, known by many throughout the community. She was an avid volunteer for local organizations and took pride in lending her creative talents to projects for groups ranging from Casa Puerto Rico to the Dover Rotary Club. But her greatest joys came at home, spending time with her husband of 37 years right there in front of you with her, Francisco, with whom I had the great honor of speaking yesterday, doing whatever she could to support her sons David and Jason, and I had the great honor of speaking with Jason as well yesterday, by the way, who works with great distinction at the US Attorney's Office, as they all pursued their dreams, the boys at Seton Hall University and built their careers. And by the way, she was also loving tending to her beloved garden. As her husband Francisco said, and I quote him, "She did the impossible so her kids could have a better future than she."

Francisco, by the way, fought his own battle with COVID-19 and thankfully, he is still with us and says he is doing much better. He's here to carry on Orfilia's spirit, and Jason and David are with him too. And together, they're going to keep tending that garden in tribute to the woman who tended to their family. May God bless you, Orfilia, and may he strengthen Francisco, Jason and David.

Next, we remember, there is a boatsman if ever there was one right there. We remember George J. Foerst Jr., a longtime resident of both Aberdeen and Waretown. This upcoming Friday, Judy, was to have been George's 100th birthday. He was known not surprisingly, Pat, by this picture, as The Captain by many for his lifelong love of sailing and as Pop to his grandchildren and great grandchildren. A Jersey City native, George was a US Army medic with the 113th Field Artillery Battalion during World War II and was awarded the Bronze Star. Upon returning home, George married the love of his life, his wife, Margaret, and they would raise a family and be an inseparable couple for the next 34 years before her untimely passing in 1980 at only the age of 60.

Professionally, George started in business when he took over his family's insurance business, and he earned a degree in business administration from Rutgers University in Newark at night while working full time. He would eventually go on to work for the US Postal Service, the Federal General Services Administration, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development before retiring in 1985. Retirement, by the way, didn't slow George down and he could often be found at the helm of his 33-foot Pierson sailboat until, by the way, the age of 95. George leaves behind his three children, George F., Madeline known as Lynn, and Katherine known as Kathy and I have the great honor of speaking with Kathy yesterday, and their families, including three granddaughters and five great-grandchildren. He's also survived by his sister, Jane, a member of our greatest generation and we're going to speak about several of them today, we thank George for his service to our nation, and we hope he has found a sea in which to keep sailing. God bless you, man.

Finally today, we remember another of our World War II veterans, Carlton P. "Penn" Frost IV. He had turned 99 years old just a few weeks before he passed due to COVID-19. Carlton was born in New Hampshire, but he grew up in Ridgewood and graduated from Montclair Academy before returning to New Hampshire to attend Dartmouth College and graduated, by the way, in three years. He entered World War II as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, but his service was cut short when he was wounded by friendly fire during a bombing run and he returned stateside to recuperate. With the war over, Carlton went back to Dartmouth to study at the Amos Tuck School of Business, and then join his uncle, the architect Jans Larsen as a draftsman. And for those who have visited the campus of Bucknell University, Carlton was the person who designed The Bertrand Library cupola. After Carlton and his wife Ruth were married in 1947, they chose Bergen County's Ho-Ho-Kus as their home and he changed careers to enter sales for Becton Dickinson. He coached youth football and baseball teams, and helped leading packs of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

He leaves behind his daughter Lee with whom I had the great honor of speaking and his son Carlton, and their spouses, along with his three grandchildren, Sarah, David and CP, one great-grandson and a great-granddaughter who is to be born next month. Lee wanted me to make a point, which I think is an important one. She works in the mental health field and she said telehealth and the embracing of telehealth, and what we've done to make that more accessible, available to folks, has been a game changer. So Lee, thank you for you and everyone else who works in the field of mental health. What stories his almost to be born great-granddaughter will be told of a life well lived. We thank Carlton for his service to our nation, his community, and God bless and watch over him.

Three more tremendous members of our New Jersey family lost to COVID-19. We say this so often, I think we say it probably every day Judy, bur Orfilia, George and Carlton are the reasons why we cannot be complacent. They are the reasons why we need to remain vigilant to wear a mask to get tested. Imagine them as your family. Imagine being the one who spreads coronavirus to someone you love, who is more vulnerable to COVID-19 than you are. Imagine that. This is why we need to be smart and selfless. This is why you need to mask up when you leave the house. This is why we cannot yet open every indoor business. We know this virus is deadlier in close quarters and where crowds who aren't taking precautions seriously can more easily spread it. This is, in fact, who COVID-19 wants to latch on to for a free ride. Don't give it that chance. Wear a mask, folks. Be smart. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family, your friends, your neighbor, your community, for all of us.

Shifting gears, I have to say last night, kicked off yesterday, kicked off, Pat, the Last Dance World Series of over 200 high school baseball teams actually in a club mode, but in an extraordinary tournament that will culminate right here in Trenton on July 31st at 7:00 p.m. for the championship game. My son Sam and I went to a few innings of Red Bank Catholic against Long Branch. The spirit was incredible. The baseball was really impressive and that happened up at down our state. I want to give a shout out to my friend, my dear friend Paul Sarlo, Senate Budget Chair, but also one of the driving passions behind this and the manager of his own Woodridge baseball team.

Next, I want to highlight another one of the small businesses who are making it through this crisis because of the lifelines that we've been proud to offer. Princeton's Monday Morning Flower and Balloon Co. was established in 1988 by Georgie-Ann and Kevin Vinicom, taking their name from their initial service offering, providing fresh flower deliveries to corporate offices every Monday morning. But soon, increasing demand made Monday morning flowers a seven day a week business, and today they have eight employees who helped create and deliver floral arrangements, gift baskets and balloon bouquets to customers in more than 70 zip codes, Judy, across Central Jersey, and I suspect that includes yours. Monday Morning Flowers remained open throughout the pandemic, fulfilling online orders and doing curbside pickup when feasible, but their ability to remain open was always a concern.

The Federal Paycheck Protection Program, or the PPP, offered some assistance, but Georgie-Ann and Kevin were still left with many expenses that the PPP funds could not cover. Thankfully, they learned of their eligibility for two grants from New Jersey's Economic Development Authority, and they were able to meet overhead, pay their insurance and cover additional expenses. Monday Morning Flowers doors are open today, and they remain busy fulfilling customer orders. For a business that delivers happiness, we need them a little bit more today than ever before. So to you Georgie-Ann and Kevin and your entire team, thank you for remaining optimistic about our future and thank you for continuing to be a leader in Princeton's small business community.

Now, before I close, I want to talk about three other members of the Greatest Generation, one of whom is still with us and two of whom have passed. To the best of my knowledge neither from COVID, by the way. First one, I just learned this morning that the father-in-law of Assemblywoman and friend Pam Lampitt passed, Gordon C. Lampitt. She and I had been going back and forth, talking about her father-in-law, and the inability for so long for folks to visit where we had no choice. And Judy, just before Father's Day for the long-term care facilities you were able to offer that outdoor opportunity. Her father-in-law, Gordon Lampitt, was a veteran of not one, not two, but three different American wars, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, and there are not many folks who could say that, and she lost her mother-in-law, by the way, only a few months ago. So Pam, to you and your husband and your family, God bless your father-in-law.

We got another story and this one I want to pull up, just happened yesterday. So yesterday was Bastille Day, and it was also Sheila Oliver's birthday, Happy belated birthday, Sheila Oliver. Pastor Ronald Slaughter, by the way, also his 45th in Newark, and we're also joined today by Jared Maples, Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness who had a birthday last week, but not yesterday. But yesterday was Bastille Day, so I reached out to both the French Ambassador as well as their Consul General in New York, and lo and behold, they're Consul General Anne-Claire Legendre, who will be leaving her post in August, both raised flags, the French and American flags, with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, and then took a very special mission down to Ocean City, where she, again yesterday on the basis of Bastille Day, named Francis McCormac a Chevalier Knight of France's Legion of Honor for his exceptional deeds for the French Republic. And there is Francis being pinned by Anne Claire, a member of the French military there on the left. Francis enlisted in the US Army, Pat, at the ripe age of 22. We take our hat off to him and thank him, as we do Gordon Lampitt for their service to our nation and Francis, if you or your family are watching, I hope we get a chance to give a socially distant but apropos greeting sometime this summer on the boardwalk in Ocean City.

And as I close, I have to sadly acknowledge the passing of another hero, a true American hero, Vincent Hynes of Madison. He passed away from natural causes on July 2nd at the age of 95, and he was one of the 156,000 troops who landed on the shores of Normandy on D-Day. A Navy medic, his primary job was to rescue wounded soldiers and bring them back to the ship from the shorelines. By the way, Vincent was 19 at the time. I spoke to his son Brian about his dad yesterday and we had a great conversation. His heroism and bravery led to his membership in the French Legion of Honor, the highest honor from a grateful France for the efforts on D-Day, which led to its liberation. Last year, Vincent was awarded the Mayor's Hero Award from my dear friend, Madison Mayor Bob Connelly. And on Monday, Bob led the Borough Council in a moment of silence in Vincent's memory. Another loss of a generation which gave this world hope and gave us it's all. So may God bless Francis who remains with us, Ocean City's own, and Gordon and Vincent who have passed, and all have our veterans living and God before us and we thank them for their great service to the United States of America.

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, as the Governor mentioned, the department will be releasing a directive that will allow the parents or legal guardians of pediatric developmentally disabled and intellectually disabled residents of our long-term care facilities to arrange for, by appointment, indoor visits with their loved ones. Any resident in a congregate setting, as you know, is at very high risk for COVID-19, and great vigilance must be taken to protect these vulnerable individuals. Yes, we do understand how stressful and heartbreaking it has been for so many families not to be able to visit their loved ones in person for more than three months now. Reuniting families, particularly in pediatric long-term care facilities is a critical step for the mental, physical, social and emotional wellbeing of these children. But we need to be vigilant. Given how medically fragile the pediatric population that resides in long-term care facilities are, we have been focused on putting together guidance that not only safeguards the health of these individuals, but includes the very latest that we are learning day by day about this virus.

Facilities can only allow these visits if there has been no new probable or confirmed coronavirus cases recorded across a 28-day period, which is two incubation periods of COVID-19. Visitors, of course, must be screened for symptoms, which includes temperature checks and potential exposure to COVID-19. A designated area should be established for visitors to be screened that maintains social distancing and infection control standards. If an individual has any COVID-19 symptoms, or any possible exposure, they will not be permitted to visit the resident. When staff are transporting the resident to a designated visitation area, a safe distance of six feet must be maintained between other residents and staff. Facilities must designate a specific area for visitation in order to limit the visitors movement around the facility. All visitors will be required to wear a mask, be educated on proper hand hygiene, and practice social distancing with anyone other than their loved one.

Facilities are required to obtain informed consent from the resident and the visitor in writing. Those giving consent must acknowledge that they are aware of the potential dangers of COVID-19 exposure and will comply with the facility's policies during the visit. As part of the consent form, the visitor must agree to notify the facility if they tested positive for the virus or have symptoms within 14 days of visiting. Each long-term care facility will set the hours, days and durations of the visits and at this time, only parents or guardians are permitted to visit. At least 48 hours before indoor visitation begins, facilities must submit an attestation that they have implemented the requirements of the department's directive. That is, designated areas have been set aside for visitation, ensure that sufficient staff and personal protective equipment are available, and create a system for scheduled appointments. So I encourage facilities to move quickly to submit their attestations so they can begin these long-awaited visits.

Moving on to my daily report, as the Governor shared, our hospitals reported 923 hospitalizations of COVID-19 positive patients and persons under investigation. There are 151 people in critical care with 51% of those on ventilators. Fortunately, there are no new reports of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. The Governor reviewed the new cases and deaths reported today. In terms of deaths, the breakdown by race and ethnicity is as follows: White, 54.2%, Black 18.3%, Hispanic 20.2%, Asian 5.5%, other 1.8%. Of the deaths reported today, 17 occurred in the month of July. Ten of the deaths reported occurred between the dates of April 16th and June 3rd. Hospitals reported eight mortalities yesterday. At the state's veterans homes, the numbers remain the same and at the psych hospitals, we are reporting one additional patient testing positive for COVID-19.

The daily percent positivity as of July 11th in the state is 2.13%, the Northern part of the state reports 1.98%, Central 2.01%, and the Southern part of the state, 2.68%. That concludes my report. Stay connected, stay safe, stay healthy, get tested and mask up. Thank you.

Governor Phil Murphy: Judy, thank you, first of all. Not necessarily every day these days, but most days, you and I are in touch with -- you are every day and I'm most days in touch with our hospital systems and they're in a far better world than they were in, obviously, right? The numbers are a fraction of what they were. But it has to be said that we are still, you know, plus or minus 300 to 400 new cases a day and hospitalizations are under 1,000. But they're still staying plus or minus 900. And so, any observation on that?

Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: I think, to talk about the hospitalizations, we spoke yesterday about the turnaround time in testing, and the longer the turnaround time in testing, patients that are coming into the hospital, perhaps with a heart attack or appendicitis, are identified as persons under investigation, because everyone will get tested. So if we look at the persons under investigation versus those that actually end up to be a confirmed COVID-19, it's about a 20% to 30% conversion rate. So we may start reporting the discharges of COVID positive and that will show you the difference, but I want to make it clear that everyone coming into a hospital now is considered a person under investigation until proven otherwise.

Governor Phil Murphy: And the proof is going to be through a test.

Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: A test, confirmed test.

Governor Phil Murphy: Positive or negative. Thank you for that. I want to give a shout out, he's not watching by the way, but my fellow Governor, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt just reported, it came out an hour or so ago I think, Mahen, that he has tested positive for coronavirus. He's a good guy, he's got a great family so he is in our prayers. I think he's the first American governor to have tested positive, so keep Kevin in your prayers. Pat, we missed you. We've kept you and Linda in our prayers and we will continue to do so. One of the back and forth that you and I and Judy have had is that on the COVID side, too much indoor graduation or other party activities that have led to flare ups. We talked about Westfield, Red Bank Regional cancelled their graduation. Another community cancelled their participation in the Last Dance, I think it might have been Manasquan. That's on the COVID side. But you and I have also talked about, we're not immune to what we're seeing around the country in terms of this lethal cocktail of being pent up, hot weather, trying to undo the stain of racism, folks trying to come to grips with community and police relations. There's a lot of non-COVID violence everywhere and it seems like everywhere in the country, and we're not immune to that. Any thoughts you have on that front?

State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: That's right. Thank you, Governor. Yes. It's troubling to report, I met with the ROIC Commander this morning with regard to shootings in New Jersey. We had 39 victims of shootings in this one past week alone with 13 of those succumbing to their injuries and passing away. Since year to date we're up 19% in shooting murder victims compared to last year, so at this point last year it was 84. Sitting here today we're at 100 shooting murder victims, and we continue. We have phenomenal relationships with our federal, state, county and local partners and we're certainly concerned about it, Governor, because we're seeing way too many shootings and the likelihood of it continuing through the warm summer months gives us a tremendous amount of concern.

Governor Phil Murphy: I mean, as we said, the cocktail could not be more challenging. You've got gobs of people out of work. You've got small businesses that have been crushed. Judy, you've got the mental health challenges that have gone with the physical pandemic reality. You've got hot weather. You've got George Floyd's killing and all that has gone with that. That's almost an unprecedented combination of factors.

State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: That's right.

Governor Phil Murphy: Other than those knucklehead indoor parties that young folks are having, anything on the compliance front of note?

State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: There wasn't. I was glad to note that there wasn't any EO violations reported last night, which is good news. But again, we're focusing on both EO compliance as well as violent crime and that troubling trend that we're seeing across the entire state.

Governor Phil Murphy: General public safety. And by the way, we're not, it's fair to say we're not unique right now. If you look across the Hudson at New York or into Philly, you see it all over the country, in Chicago these days. Folks, we're going to get through this together. Not unscathed. We know that but we will get through this together. I've lost Dante. Dante, we're going to start over here. Mahen, we will be with folks virtually tomorrow, but we're likely, the only wrinkle to that is we're likely to have a press event on something unrelated, somewhat related, but not directly related to COVID tomorrow afternoon. We'll communicate the COVID facts with you virtually still, but I will have the opportunity to address a couple of items that are related to this in the context of that press event, which again, is largely unrelated to the specific reality of COVID-19, although it is related. And then we'll be back together Friday, physically here at 1:00 p.m. And again, we are still going to be on the Monday, Wednesday, Friday, unless there's a reason to go otherwise in which case, we will come to you and let you know. Good afternoon.

Q&A Session

Reporter: Good afternoon, Governor. I have a question about the travel advisory. This week, New York State began enforcement, asking travelers to fill out forms when they're coming into New York airports and leveraging $2,000 fines for anyone who does not comply. Will you consider enforcement for the travel advisory at any point, and is anything like that in terms of a form being done in Newark Airport?

Governor Phil Murphy: Anything else, or is that? The answer is we're considering a number of items. Judy mentioned development of a potential technology tool. We're certainly going to be aggressively public relations heavy. We're not there on fines. We want to appeal the people's personal responsibility to do the right thing. We are happily building up our contact tracing community corps, so we have a lot more capacity there than we even did, you know, a month ago.

And again, this is an advisory that New York, Connecticut and we put out deliberately, I've said this before, that we put out before we had all of the underpinning elements of it in place deliberately, we don't normally do that. We normally get all of our T's crossed and I's dotted and then we make an announcement. In this case, we wanted to use the bully pulpit and we've used it every day in that respect. We are the United States of America. I say this with a heavy heart, I would love to be able to stop people and turn them around at our borders, whether that's Newark Liberty or literally at our borders. We can't. That's not the way the United States works. But we want to appeal and we want folks to know that we mean business. And as I said, from the moment one, Judy reserves the authority to target not as a general population matter, but if Pat flaunts this deliberately, which he won't, and comes back in from a hotspot, Judy has the power to go directly at him and sanction him.

A common theme to our to our principles among New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, but executed as we have, by the way in a lot of other steps, specific to our own constitution, our own realities within our states, and that's the way it will be. Thank you. Do you have any? No? You're good. Hello, sir.

Ian Elliott NJTV News: Good afternoon, Governor. Executive Order 163 which calls for those who cannot social distance outdoors to wear masks, how should that be enforced at the local level? One police leader told us that the Attorney General has said no to warnings and no to issuing summonses. One police leader called the lack of enforcement ridiculous and absurd and said quote, "You can quote me on that." Since lawmakers are being asked to approve this tomorrow, can you be specific today about the ways you will spend $2.7 billion in bond proceeds before September 30th? Is the priority to undo $2 billion in fiscal year 2020 diversions, reverse programs cuts for things like the funding for property tax relief for seniors and the disabled, or is it for something else? Also, how specifically would you spend another $7.2 billion in bond proceeds in fiscal year 2021?

We heard from a viewer who was just able to file for unemployment benefits after trying weekly since March, but the system is only enabling her to claim from the date she filed, not the months prior. A Department of Labor spokesperson confirms that this is the policy and could you clarify, are residents now ineligible for their benefits during the time Department of Labor was unable to process?

Finally, will the administration consider reopening in-person unemployment centers? Thank you.

Governor Phil Murphy: I'll start on the back. I have not, I'll speak for myself, been part of any discussion on opening the in-person unemployment centers. That does not mean that we won't at some point, but we have no news on that front. I hate to be a broken record, but if we could get the specifics of the information, did you say it was a woman who just got the unemployment benefit? Okay, can we get her specifics to Mahen afterwards? It literally has come, now this is for months, I think probably the past three months these are overwhelmingly, if not entirely, specific to the individual. And again, tomorrow is Thursday, so we'll be hearing again what the unemployment numbers are going to look like.

As it relates to how we spend, you know, it is the latitude to borrow up to 2.7 plus 7.2 for a total of 9.9. That's the latitude that we're asking for and getting, I'm happy to say, from the Legislature. How that will be spent is, bear with us. We're working on the budget. We've had preliminary, broad stroke meetings with the leadership in the Legislature. We've had our team working feverishly. I need to deliver a budget by August 25th, Matt, I believe at latest. So it's too early to tell, but you should assume that we'll be putting money, whether it's in the budget until September 30th or the budget that goes till next June 30, I think you should assume that we'll be putting money into both the priorities and the obligations that we speak about all the time. Being there for education, healthcare, keep our frontline workforce employed, meet our obligations on pension and other fronts. But the details, bear with us on that.

I'm not aware of the comment about the Attorney General saying don't warn and don't summons. Here is, I'll give you two ends of the spectrum on being outside. And Judy, if you or Tina see this differently, jump in. You're walking down the street and you're walking your dog, or you're with your husband or wife, or you're out for a run and you're on a trail in the woods near your house and you're socially distancing, we don't really have any interest in that. So that's at one end of the spectrum, as long as you're able to socially distance, bless you. I still think you'll see us with our face coverings on but that's not a priority.

What is the priority and we have asked explicitly, not just the State Police but the Park Police and local authorities and County Sheriffs, we expect folks to be warned and action to be taken if there is intense congregation where folks are not socially distancing and it's for a meaningful amount of time. You're lined up to get a slice of pizza, you're on top of each other, and you're not wearing your face covering. That's not a good look. That's not smart. That's not a good thing for public health. So that's the sort of other end of the spectrum.

I mentioned I went to one of the Last Dance games last night. I'd say mixed in terms of compliance on face coverings. But in fairness for the most part, I can't say this completely, the bulk of the folks who weren't wearing face coverings were also not on top of each other. So more compliance, Judy, but not where it needs to be. I don't want people to think it's on an absolute scale where it needs to be. We need to see a lot more of these in New Jersey if we don't want to start looking like Florida and Arizona and Texas right now. But it is clearly better. It is clearly more compliance when you're seeing folks on top of each other. Not where it needs to be. And that has to be, it's hard to enforce, I admit that, but it has to be enforced. And we need, by the way, whether it's members of law enforcement, elected officials, faith leaders, community leaders, they need to lead by example, and wear face coverings themselves, not just for their own safety, but to make a statement for the rest of us. Thank you. Do you have anything sir? You're good. Good afternoon.

Reporter: Good afternoon and thank you, Governor. Just a quick clarification first from Colonel Callahan. The 19% increase in shootings, is that all shootings or just fatal shootings?

State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: The shootings overall are up 3% year to date, which the difference from 23 to 39, excuse me, 538 to 553 year to date, but the shooting murder victims are up 19%.

Reporter: All right. Thank you. And I just have a couple questions on the travel advisory. Commissioner Persichilli, could you talk to us a little bit more? The Governor mentioned some sort of technology tool that might be used? Can you explain that a little bit more? Would that involve tracking people with or without using their cell phones? And for both yourself and the Governor, I'd like to find out how a state gets removed from the travel advisory list? How did Delaware get removed? And I believe it was last month you mentioned that Washington State was on the very first travel advisory list. Officials from Washington State reached out to you. Were they complaining? Did they give you new information? Why was Washington State removed? And is it as simple as a state can get removed from the travel advisory list if they complain to you?

Governor Phil Murphy: May I start with that and then --?

Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: Yes, go ahead.

Governor Phil Murphy: Believe me, they do complain, but that doesn't work. And no cash exchanges hands here as related to this. All kidding aside, the benchmarks are quite clear and it's a rolling seven-day average. It's that simple. It's math. It is, Judy, tell me if I get this wrong, more than 10 new cases per hundred thousand residents, and/or more than 10% spot positivity rate. So we're reporting today 2.13%. If that were above 10, and it was consistently on a rolling seven-day average. I believe Washington did highlight that the data was not accurate for them. It was supposed to -- they went below it. They claimed that they were already below it and I think New York, Connecticut, New Jersey were satisfied that they were right. And Delaware, you know, not surprisingly, weren't happy to be on it. We didn't do anything about that, but their numbers came down.

Frankly, the fact of the matter is, again, I hope we're not in this place again, please God that we don't get to more than 10 per hundred thousand or more than a 10% spot positivity rate. But if we did, please God, we don't, frankly, I think that allows the equivalence of us in those states or if it were our state, to say, folks, look at what happened to us. We can't let this happen. It seems to me you use that in Delaware, they had a flare up, particularly in and around Rehoboth Beach in the shore. They happily are below that and we'll continue to watch it. Again, it's a rolling seven-day average. Anything you want to add to that or the technology piece, Judy?

Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: Yeah, the app is just about complete. It will on your phone and a short questionnaire, and you'll be able to transmit it directly to the county and local health departments for follow up. The questionnaire is short. It's where are you coming from, where have you traveled and how can we contact you? So we hope to roll that out, if not by the end of this week, beginning of next week.

Governor Phil Murphy: This is, as you can imagine, these are not rolling off a log things, so.

Reporter: If I can follow up, how does a person get this app on his or her phone? Is it mandatory? Are they told about it when they arrive at an airport in the state? How does that piece of it work?

Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli: We're working with all the airlines, so before people disembark, they'll be reminded to put it on their phone. As the Governor shared, we're really focusing on personal accountability at this point in time. We'll see how it goes.

Governor Phil Murphy: To be determined on the details. Thank you for that. Dustin, good afternoon.

Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: Good afternoon. How quickly do you anticipate signing the bonding bill if you get it from the Legislature on Thursday? What about the bill makes you think it will survive the impending legal challenge from Republicans? We've heard there's a possibility of youth sports being shut down again. Can you confirm or dispel –

Governor Phil Murphy: What being shut?

Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: Youth sports. Are hospitals in New Jersey reporting coronavirus data to the CDC that will now go to Health and Human Services, and do you have any concerns about that change planned by the Trump administration?

And so far in the pandemic, you have approved a change to the open records law that effectively gives custodians license to delay requests for weeks or months. The Legislature rushed through the stop gap budget bill which you signed. Public has no say in the $10 billion bonding bill, and your office has declined to release records backing up costs for savings with the CWA and certain details about your task forces and recovery panels. Do you think the public deserves more transparency from state government, especially in a pandemic? And are you living up to your own values on transparency in government? Thanks.

Governor Phil Murphy: On the first one, was that how quickly do we think we'll get bonding?

Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: The Legislature is expected to approve that bill tomorrow and send it to your desk. I'm just wondering how soon you may plan to sign it, assuming you will.

Governor Phil Murphy: Yeah. I mean, I had another good conversation with the Senate President yesterday. I know they're trying to expedite this. This is something that you should assume, while I don't normally talk about these things, we've talked about this bill so much. I would say you should assume it will be signed pretty much as soon as it gets here unless Matt Platkin disagrees. He's standing behind you. He'll agree with me. No comment on the legal challenge. I'm not a lawyer, number one, and number two I wouldn't comment on it any way but I would just say two general statements. We wouldn't attach our name to something if we thought it was not completely constitutional and legal.

Secondly, this is not a comment about legality, but it's a comment on what's your plan B folks, out there? What else do you think we should be doing? I mean, it's just ridiculous, the absence of viable alternative public policy from folks who are whining about this, so.

I know nothing about pulling back on youth sports. Matt do you agree? Judy, you agree? In fact, I was out there, I've been a spectator, by the end of the week two soccer matches and a baseball game and I hope some more. I literally, I need you to go back, Dante, because I don't understand the hospital CDC question.

Dustin Racioppi, Bergen Record: The Trump administration is changing how the data is collected at the federal level where the hospitals, most of them send the coronavirus data to the CDC. Now that's being brought under Health and Human Services, which is basically seen, taking it out of, you know, career bureaucrats based in science and moving into a political realm.

Governor Phil Murphy: I mean, first of all, not sure I was aware of that, but I would hope we will continue to send our numbers as well to the CDC. In other words, if there's an extra burden of request to send to the Health and Human Services, I assume, Judy, the hospital systems will comply. But they need to continue sending their data to the CDC.

I will use this opportunity that the politicization of this is bad for public health. When folks start to -- that doesn't mean people are infallible, or that every system and every process is always right. But this attacking of Tony Fauci who has dedicated his life to things like AIDs and Ebola, and now to coronavirus and COVID-19, and folks trying to politicize wearing a mask, when we know the science tells us that that keeps more people alive. I wasn't aware, Dustin, of that shift and by the way, I'm not trying to dam HHS, because we've got very good relations there and they've been really helpful to us. I think Admiral Giroir is there and Alex Azar has been there, etc. But if there's a sense that there's some politicization of the data, or more broadly of this pandemic, I think at the end of the day, all you get other than division, which is the last thing we need in this country, all you get is more people who are dead. And that's the very last thing we need.

Dustin, I think if you were to replay a tape of your last question, you could have put that into Soviet Union 1975. It sounds like we don't show anything. I mean, we take all that stuff seriously. I wish we had had more luxury and more time on the clock on a budget. In fact, we've put forward an ethics package which I would love to see put in place immediately, which is that every bill has to have at least, now is it 72 hours of public exposure? We do believe in transparency. We take every one of these requests for information seriously, one at a time. As you can imagine, we're overwhelmed with them and so our style is to be transparent as much as we can be, but there is a reality here that the clock is very short on a lot of the stuff; that we've got a lot more demand for that sort of information than we have the ability and manpower to deliver it on a timely basis. But that doesn't mean we've changed our stripes in terms of our belief in transparency and good government and governance. I want to once again give a shout out to an ethics package which we would love to see get enacted. So, thank you for that. Matt, how are you?

Matt Arco, Star-Ledger: Doing well, thank you. Governor, how well stocked is the state on PPE for nursing homes and hospitals? Does the state have sufficient amount to dole out to these institutions in the event of an uptick and an outbreak?

Regarding these mini outbreaks we're seeing in places you mentioned like Westfield, Manasquan and at Red Bank Regional High School, are you rethinking allowing these outdoor graduations? And what have you learned from contact tracing related to those outbreaks? And on contact tracing, can you give us any concrete examples of success stories from tracing that has helped isolate and contain a local outbreak? You know, privacy matters notwithstanding.

And just lastly, on Department of Labor, you said that opening up the offices isn't something that you've discussed just yet. I'm curious, you know, given the backlog that we're still hearing about from people that have continued to not be able to speak to anybody in a couple of months, is it something that you'll actively discuss? And just lastly, if not in-person meetings for these folks, is there any other thing, anything else that can be done right now to help the backlog?

Governor Phil Murphy: All good. Pat, I said in your absence, and Judy was my witness, I can't remember if it was Tina or Ed, it might have been a different days and perhaps both of you, that you all are working on a plan for hospital systems for long-term care to require the operators for counties, for essential places of work to have X days, 30, 60, 90 days of capacity. But that I said that as far as I knew, the PPE is coming in, and we're sending it right back out again. We're still not where we need to be. Is that fair?

State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan: That is still the case. And I just remind everybody, that very first resource request we made of FEMA, which might have been in the first week of March, they still are delivering on that and it's probably going to be months before they could fill that. But even, about an hour ago, I got an email from a vendor who said they have 16 million surgical masks. We are in constant, whether it's the long-term care facilities or hospitals stockpiling on their own, combine that with the state stockpiling, we are, on a daily basis, seeking gloves. Nitrile gloves right now is a global, global shortage on gloves. So it is a daily conversation and our logistics team in OEM stays on top of that daily.

Governor Phil Murphy: The hope is, Judy, would you agree with that assessment in terms of where we are? The hope is that we can, please God and we're trying to now that we've quieted down, although we're not out of the woods, the hope is that we're able to build the stockpiles back up, but we're not -- I'd be lying if I said we were there yet, right?

The mini outbreaks, Matt, I do not believe are associated with outdoor graduations. We have no data that I know of that are related to outdoor, beaches, parks. What I believe that is related are indoor house parties, and that is more anecdotal than science but it is the indoor, close congregation that's happening too much and too much among young people. Judy's been preaching this of late and I would just add to her pleas.

Tracking success stories, I think I know of at least a couple, the wedding parties who were in Myrtle Beach, Tina, the Hoboken reality not last weekend but the weekend before.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan: So we are really lucky that we have a very robust local health department system and a really great healthcare provider system here in New Jersey in general, because it's usually astute clinicians, the astute local health departments that recognize well before you even get the data in contact tracing or whatever that there's something kind of anomalous or something unusual that's going on in their jurisdiction. So for example, as the Governor pointed out, you know, when we had identified a possible cluster associated with an out-of-state exposure, that was something that the local health department picked up right away because they've got this experience, they know how to recognize this and it's same thing with our clinicians that are out there. They see that there might be some sort of like association with a particular locality or a common thread, and that's what brings to the attention, you know, what ultimately happens with the public health investigation that subsequently follows.

Governor Phil Murphy: On your last one, I just want to say, when I said I meant that literally, I've not been a part of that discussion. That's not to say that that discussion isn't going on with Commissioner Asaro-Angelo, . I will make sure, Mahen, we follow up on the Department of Labor question because clearly, we're trying to, as much as we can here, to reopen things, including still with the challenges. We have the Motor Vehicles Commission where we, in some of those functions, we literally can't avoid being open. But let us come back to you on that, because the notion of getting as many portals to get your unemployment claims heard and satisfied, is assuming we can protect public health, Judy, we're all in for that, right?

Thank you. I'm going to mask up here with my mask from Judy Persichilli. Thank you for this. I want to thank Judy and Tina, as always, Pat to you and great to have you back again and Linda remains in our prayers, Jared and Matt and Mahen. Again, we'll likely have another press event unrelated on the road tomorrow and I will speak to likely, in addition to the reason why we're gathering tomorrow, anything new on unemployment and anything new on the COVID overnight numbers, Judy. And then otherwise, we'll be back here at one o'clock on Friday unless you hear otherwise. Again, folks, keep it up. Keep doing the extraordinary job you've been doing. Overwhelmingly folks have, by the millions, have done the right thing. Let's keep at it. Keep the rest of the country where they're on fire in our prayers and hope that they have a speedy resolution. And in then the meantime, we hope that we can keep ourselves as walled off as a state as possible. We keep ourselves walled off as much as possible and the behavior is as compliant and good and responsible as it's been over the past number of months in the state, that combination is a winner and that's what we need to keep after, folks. God bless you all. Thank you.