COVID-19: Complete coverage as New Jersey battles a second wave and vaccine arrives
Read our complete coverage of coronavirus, including how New Jersey institutions dealt with testing demands and the shortage of supplies and ventilators, as well as the expected reopening of businesses, online learning, the shattered economy and more.
A promise to readers: our team of journalists has been working to bring you the most essential information about the coronavirus outbreak as soon as we get it. And we are committed to reporting that critical information to you from only vetted sources in a sober, objective manner.
Here comes a COVID vaccine
Residents and staff of New Jersey's devastated veterans home in Paramus began getting COVID-19 vaccinations on Dec. 29.
Vaccines to protect against COVID-19 have started to arrive in New Jersey in limited quantities. The first recipients have been hospital front line staffs. Nursing homes will be next. This first phase will last through February. Here's a detailed Q and A on how, when and where to get vaccinated.
At 8:10 a.m. on Dec. 15, with a single needle prick to nurse Maritza Beniquez's arm, New Jersey began its counterattack on a virus that has killed more than 17,000 of its residents, crippled whole sectors of its economy and shattered the routines of everyone from preschoolers to nursing home residents.
The first recipients of vaccinations against COVID-19 in New Jersey included an Army veteran, a former professional football player and the mother of sons. Some were New Jersey natives, and others were immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. In ceremonies rich with symbolism, they celebrated hope after months of contagion.
The first doses of a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 are expected to arrive at New Jersey hospitals within days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized it's emergency use on Dec. 11. Here's what we know so far about when — and how — they will become available, as well as who will get it first.
With nursing home residents moving to the front of the COVID-19 vaccination line alongside health care workers, New Jersey officials are revising their distribution plan to cover 45,000 residents and the 95,000 employees who care for them.
Health care reporter Lindy Washburn, who volunteered to participate in a COVID vaccine trial, provides a first-person account of getting her second vaccine shot — and the side effects.
New Jersey expects to receive enough vaccine to quickly protect 50,000 people from COVID-19, once the federal government authorizes one of the vaccines currently in clinical trials. Priority will be given to health care workers, state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said on Nov. 9.
On the afternoon of Sept. 22, our health care reporter became a data point in the search for a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. That’s when she received the first of two shots in a clinical trial to develop a vaccine, and became one of 30,000 volunteers to take a needlestick for science.
More than 100,000 vaccine volunteers will be needed nationwide in the race to develop a shot that prevents COVID-19.
Perhaps the most remarkable creature to call the waters off New Jersey home is older than the dinosaurs, helps balance the state's ecosystem and looks like it crept out of the "Aliens" movie franchise. Now the horseshoe crab is playing a vital role in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine
Two New Jersey medical institutions are recruiting volunteers to test a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Hackensack University Medical Center and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School at University Hospital in Newark are participate in a clinical trial of the vaccine developed by Moderna.
COVID second wave hits NJ
More North Jersey nursing homes are seeing fresh cases of COVID-19, with deaths mounting at a Paramus facility and a new outbreak underway at another in Wayne as the second wave of the pandemic intensifies in New Jersey.
The surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that began in October in New Jersey has not yet caused a significant spike in the state's death toll. But health experts say that could change fast if working-age adults who are propelling the wave of new cases begin to gather with older family members as the holidays approach.
The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is mounting across New Jersey. Experts anticipate more cases with fewer deaths, as younger people account for more of the infections, and treatment improves. But none of the current medications is a knockout punch, and people are still hospitalized and die.
17,021 NJ coronavirus deaths
On Thursday, Dec. 31 there were 90 deaths reported, for a cumulative statewide total of 17,021 confirmed deaths and 2,021 probable deaths since the first case was reported on March 4.
Loved and Lost
Loved and Lost is a project about memorializing those lost to COVID-19 in NJ. NorthJersey.com
New Jersey's coronavirus victims should not pass in silence. Each life had a meaning that should not go unnoticed. So we are asking relatives and friends of those who have been lost to reach out to us to help us memorialize them in print and online. We are calling this continuing series of portraits "Loved and Lost." To date, we have identified more than 700 people lost to the virus. We have profiled more than 160 of them.
If you would like to view the stories or submit the name of a loved one to be profiled, go to lovedandlostnj.com.
477,360 New Jersey cases
On Thursday, Dec. 31, there were 5,107 new cases reported by the state, for a total of 477,360 cases since the pandemic started in March. New Jersey's first presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, was announced on March 4. He was a 32-year-old Fort Lee man who has since recovered.
Gov. Phil Murphy said on Nov. 16 he will lower limits on gatherings in New Jersey to slow the rise of COVID cases. The restrictions will likely disrupt Thanksgiving plans for families. With some exceptions, indoor gatherings will now be limited to 10 people, down from 25, and the outdoor capacity will be lowered to 150, from 500.
New Jersey health officials are making a public plea with families whose loved ones live in nursing homes — please do not take them home for Thanksgiving and the December holidays. The plea comes as the number of COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes has increased 47% in less than three weeks.
Indoor holiday gatherings could not only transmit the virus to loved ones, but those loved ones could then pass it on to other residents of a nursing home when they return, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said.
Towns and counties have the discretion to close bars, restaurants and other businesses by 8 p.m. to stem local outbreaks of COVID-19, Gov. Phil Murphy said on Nov. 12.
Here is what you can and can't do in New Jersey with current COVID-19 restrictions
Bars and restaurants will have to close early and youth interstate sports will be canceled under new restrictions announced Nov. 9 by Gov. Phil Murphy to curb rising cases of COVID-19. The new restrictions, which take effect Nov. 12, mean bars and restaurants must close inside by 10 p.m.
Is NJ ready for a second wave?
The latest models show two drastically different possible futures for how dramatically coronavirus could impact New Jerseyans. In a worst-case scenario, New Jersey could see a second wave that peaks in March of 2021 with even higher case numbers than we saw in the spring.
Cases of the coronavirus may be much lower than at the beginning of the pandemic in New Jersey, but hospital leaders and the doctors and nurses who care for patients aren't letting down their guard. They're stocking up on masks and protective gowns.
The pandemic played out like a horror movie at New Jersey nursing homes through the spring. Now state officials, nurses unions and families are hoping nursing home operators have made enough changes to guard residents against a second wave.
The economic devastation wrought by the pandemic has state leaders scrambling to account for projected revenue shortfalls in the billions without a surplus to cushion the blow, and left people who lost their jobs waiting for money from an unemployment system that often fails. Whether, or when, the turmoil ends depends on the virus and the federal government, economists say.
New Jersey is "well positioned" for an expected second wave of the coronavirus and serves as an example for other states to reopen sectors of the economy, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sept. 24.
New Jersey will soon receive 2.6 million kits to test for COVID-19 that can yield results in 15 minutes, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Sept. 28. He said the development could be a "game-changer" for battling the virus. The test, called BinaxNow from Abbott, detects active infections and will almost double New Jersey's testing capacity.
Reopening the state
It was a first day of school like no other. Across New Jersey, tens of thousands of students filed back into school buildings on Sept. 8, wearing masks and sitting behind plexiglass in half-empty classrooms. Thousands more never left home, following live classes on computer screens.
Starting at 6 a.m. on Sept. 4, restaurants were allowed to serve diners indoors at 25% capacity — the first time since dining establishments were told to shut their doors indefinitely at 8 p.m. on March 16.
American Dream, the megamall and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands, reopened Oct. 1.
Gyms and fitness centers across the state opened their doors on Sept. 1 for the first time in nearly six months, trekking into a new normal filled with temperature checks, mask-wearing and social distancing during workouts.
Indoor dining will be allowed for the first time since mid-March at 25% capacity beginning Friday Sept. 4.
Indoor amusement parks in New Jersey — including American Dream, the mega-entertainment complex in the Meadowlands — were allowed to reopen Sept. 1.
Gov. Phil Murphy said on Aug. 12 that he will allow certain school districts to offer an all-remote option this fall, reversing course after growing protests over the idea of reopening school buildings. Murphy also issued an executive order clearing K-12 schools and colleges and universities to resume in-person learning immediately.
A generation of New Jersey taxpayers will most likely pay back tens of billions of dollars after the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled Aug. 12 that Gov. Phil Murphy could borrow money to plug an estimated $10 billion budget hole caused by the coronavirus.
New Jersey's long-term care facilities could reopen to visitors and resume normal operations if they met certain benchmarks, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Aug. 10.
Parents grappled with the difficult decision of whether to send their children back to brick-and-mortar schools in the fall or opt for remote education — with all its shortcomings and sacrifices.
Students who returned to school in September were required to wear face masks at all times while they are indoors.
Some New Jersey universities — including Rutgers and Princeton — decided not to bring many students back to campus, instead opting largely for a full plate of online classes. Many others rolled the dice with a hybrid model.
Malls reopened in NJ at a reduced capacity on June 29 with lots of lines, sanitizer, masks and other social distancing policies.
Outdoor amusement parks, water parks and playgrounds in the Garden State could reopen on July 2. Parks and boardwalk rides were be limited to 50% of typical guest capacity and must enforce social-distancing rules on rides and in lines.
New Jersey's museums, aquariums and libraries could reopen on July 2. Indoor recreation — bowling alleys, batting cages, shooting ranges — were also allowed to reopen that day, along with boardwalk arcades, just in time for the Fourth of July weekend.
Gov. Phil Murphy outlined a "robust program of contact tracing" that was to be in place by the end of June. When combined with testing, he said it would help contain the spread of coronavirus as the state reopens. The state planned to recruit, train and deploy 1,600 contact tracers to assist local health departments.
Although the stay-at-home order imposed March 21 was lifted on June 10, Murphy urged residents to "continue to wear face coverings and maintain social distance as much as possible."
The state issued guidance for non-essential retailers preparing to open June 15. Businesses must limit customers in stores to 50 percent of approved capacity.
Murphy gave the green light to bring back youth sports, with "non-contact outdoor organized sports activities beginning June 22."
When the retail sector reopens, experts predict it will look a lot different: more vacancies, more social distancing, and consumers with new habits.
State veterans home deaths
The U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation into the high death toll at two New Jersey veterans homes where 190 residents and two caregivers died amid the COVID pandemic, according to a letter sent Oct. 27 to Gov. Phil Murphy.
As he sat terrified in his room at the Menlo Park veterans home where COVID-19 was claiming life after life, Howard Conyack called his daughter and left a voicemail. Conyack had served in the Marine Corps, and through his life he rarely cried. But on this call, his voice broke. "I'm worried, honey," he said.
The New Jersey attorney general has requested troves of documents from the Paramus and Menlo Park veterans homes in a far-reaching investigation of their high death tolls during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a state records review has increased total coronavirus deaths at the two state-run facilities to 190 as of Oct. 1.
The New Jersey Veterans Home in Paramus claimed to provide “the very finest health care service.” But when federal inspectors arrived in April — after 46 residents had died from the coronavirus in a month — what they found was among the very worst. Residents who had tested positive for COVID mingled with others who awaited test results. Nurses’ aides wore the same set of protective garb without changing as they moved among patients who were COVID-positive and COVID-negative.
Two congressmen called for the CEO of the New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus to resign after a NorthJersey.com story last week that showed how lax infection control and questionable decisions may have exacerbated the devastating toll COVID-19 has had at the facility.
A scathing federal inspection report showed that COVID-19 likely spread rapidly through the New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus due to lax infection control, bad decisions and poorly trained staff. But Gov. Phil Murphy suggested a more benign reason for the high death toll at the facility that his administration runs.
On the day one Paramus veterans home resident died, his family was told he was doing well. In fact, he had died hours earlier; his body already had been taken to a funeral home. Meanwhile, the family of the man’s roommate had been told erroneously that he was dead.
An outbreak of coronavirus disease at the Paramus Veterans Home has killed at least 10 residents and likely contributed to the deaths of some 27 more. Some 70 are ill and dozens of staff have been diagnosed.
Children and coronavirus
The number of children in New Jersey with a rare but severe inflammatory syndrome potentially related to coronavirus infection was reduced to seven from 17, after a detailed description of the syndrome was released by federal health officials.
Children are not as safe from severe illness caused by the novel coronavirus as originally thought, according to new research and clinical experience that may have implications for decisions about reopening schools and day care centers.
A 12-year-old Newark girl survived a life-threatening blood clot this week that her doctors said was likely related to COVID-19, the most severe in a growing number of unusual coronavirus cases in children.
What it's like to have coronavirus
I first noticed symptoms in mid-March. It felt like a tiny part of my chest was tight. I thought, "Do I have heartburn, what could I have eaten that could have given me heartburn?" It didn't take long for the tightness to spread throughout my chest.
Other nursing home outbreaks
CareOne at Valley “voluntarily” paused admissions “out of an abundance of caution” after the new residents tested positive, CareOne said in a statement.
An ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 at the Dellridge Health & Rehabilitation Center in Paramus has left two residents dead, with confirmed cases diagnosed in 36 residents and five staff members.
Additional reforms in the long-term care industry that will raise minimum staffing requirements and aim to prevent social isolation among residents were signed into law Oct. 23 by Gov. Phil Murphy.
A quarter of the residents of a Park Ridge nursing home — 33 people — have died since the coronavirus epidemic began, and 22 others who tested positive for COVID-19 have been moved.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said April 16 that the state attorney general is investigating an Andover, Sussex County nursing home where the bodies of 18 residents were found in a makeshift holding area.
Coronavirus outbreaks at the state's nursing homes have claimed the lives of eight residents at each of two nursing homes in Wanaque and Montclair.
The spread of coronavirus in nursing homes claimed scores of lives in New Jersey this past week, as the worsening “second front” of the pandemic grew to rival the needs of hospitals that face an unprecedented wave of critically ill patients.
Nursing home residents are getting sick and dying behind closed doors in what is largely an unseen epidemic, with the number of COVID-19-related deaths in such facilities climbing into the thousands across the northeastern U.S. while families fearing for elderly relatives scramble for information.
Layoffs and assistance
New Jersey will apply for an extra $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits for the workers in the Garden State who lost paychecks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy said Aug. 26, despite initially balking at the idea.
New Jersey will give $100 million in rental assistance to tenants whose finances have been affected by the coronavirus crisis, Gov. Phil Murphy announced May 29. Families with very low income, the homeless or people who are at risk of losing their homes will be prioritized.
New Jersey and the federal government have launched new assistance programs for small and medium sized businesses in recent weeks to help keep them above water during the coronavirus crisis. Here's a guide that outlines grants, loans, hiring guides and more.
Five major banks and state-chartered institutions in New Jersey will offer a 90-day grace period on residential mortgage payments for borrowers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Phil Murphy announced March 28.
Murphy has made it illegal for employers to fire or not reinstate employees who have missed work due to an infectious disease.
A record number of New Jerseyans are applying for unemployment benefits as Gov. Phil Murphy orders more non-essential businesses to shutter and help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. For the week of March 8 to March 14, initial unemployment claims jumped nearly 21 percent compared to the same week in 2019,
New Jersey residents cannot be evicted or lose their homes to foreclosure during the coronavirus emergency under a law and executive order signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday. "No one should fear being kicked out of their home in the midst of this emergency," the governor said.
Some local businesses staying open during the coronavirus crisis rely heavily on part-time employees who have limited paid vacation or sick days and may have no access to short-term disability coverage — and major New Jersey employers in recent days, including Rite Aid, Target, Whole Foods and Stop & Shop, have established special pay and time off policies to help out.
State officials have said that some aid for workers to pay rent could come through the state Department of Community Affairs. State legislators are considering bills that would forestall foreclosures and allow workers to reclaim some unpaid wages. The state is also trying to allow people quicker access to unemployment insurance, experts said.
The coronavirus basics
So what is coronavirus anyway? Everything you need to know.
How does coronavirus affect the human body?
Quarantines, vaccination campaigns, airport screening and health-care worker training — may soon become part of the response to a potential epidemic on American soil of the new coronavirus from China, known as COVID-19. Lessons learned from previous epidemics will guide the response.
Doctors and hospitals have been inundated with pitches from people selling medical equipment like N95 respirator masks, which protect health care workers from being infected and are in critically short supply. Some companies have been selling equipment that's substandard or not certified by the federal government.
People step up to help
If you need proof that people are nice and kind, you needn't look too far. With the coronavirus causing hardships throughout the region — shutting people in, depriving kids of school lunches and provoking enormous amounts of stress — your neighbors, your friends, your mom-and-pop shop owners are finding ways to help those who need help.
A year after much of its Elmwood Park campus was destroyed in an epic fire, Marcal Paper company now finds itself on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis — just weeks after it reopened. The company is now running 24 hours a day, seven days a week producing 170 tons of paper towels and toilet paper daily to try to keep up with consumers.
State of emergency
On March 9, Gov. Phil Murphy declared a State of Emergency and a Public Health Emergency, effective immediately, to "contain the spread of COVID-19." “The State of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource, across all levels of government, to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,” said Murphy in statement.
How does a state of emergency affect you?
New Jersey residents who have questions or concerns about coronavirus and resources available to them can now call 2-1-1, which is New Jersey’s statewide information and referral service operated by United Ways of New Jersey. Residents call also text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text information
Pregnancy during the pandemic
For pregnant women and their families, the coronavirus outbreak has upended one of the most joyous moments in their lives. The biggest concern has been no support in the delivery room — as some hospitals resort to strict policies that force a mother to deliver and recover alone.
Testing for coronavirus
A new saliva test developed at Rutgers University that could dramatically alter the way the coronavirus is detected — potentially accelerating the rate of collections and limiting exposure to health care workers — received federal emergency approval.
The night was cold and silent, and John Dougherty wasn’t taking any more chances. He drove slowly. When he arrived at the test site, he pulled his white Honda minivan onto the shoulder of the three-lane suburban highway. He spun the key to kill the engine. It was 2:55 a.m.
New Jersey's first mass-testing site for the coronavirus handled 650 tests on March 20 before it was shut down four hours early after using a quarter of the testing kits allocated for the week
As the number of patients with the disease caused by the new coronavirus rises in New Jersey, many people want to know about how and when they can be tested. Here are your questions answered.
Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck has taken to testing patients for COVID-19 in two tents outside of their emergency department, officials said. The tents are being used to test patients who have been screened by their physicians via phone or in-office visit and meet criteria for testing
A quick test to help triage emergency room patients with potential coronavirus infections was introduced March 12 at hospitals in the Hackensack Meridian Health system across New Jersey. The test, developed by scientists in Nutley, takes hours rather than days to produce results. It's intended to aid decisions about treatment and relieve pressure on the state public health laboratory.
New Jersey was to get 500 additional kits on March 6 from the CDC to test for coronavirus. Vice President Mike Pence said strict controls over who can be tested will be lifted. Health experts are concerned that many people infected have been undetected because of the strict criteria the CDC had imposed, which allowed the virus to spread.
New Jersey will likely see a spike in coronavirus testing and cases as tests become more widely available and criteria for testing broadens, state officials said March 2.
Hospitals on the front line
If you think you have coronavirus, call your doctor before showing up at their office. The might want to ask you questions first over the phone. Steps taken at the front door of the medical system — at primary care practices, urgent care clinics, and doctor’s offices — can reduce the spread of the virus.
Gown, gloves, goggles, mask — deposit in biohazard container and wash hands for 20 seconds. It’s a drill that’s becoming muscle memory for health care workers these days as hospitals and medical facilities prepare for the spread of coronavirus.
Public spaces and mass transit
Movie theaters and performance halls in Bergen County will close immediately, the county executive said March 13. The Bergen County Zoo will shut down until further notice. County employees over 60 will no longer be required to go to work.
With the coronavirus outbreak increasing each day, about one in five NJ Transit commuters —160,000 people — have begun working from home to avoid the close quarters of buses and trains, the agency said March 12.
American Dream will shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak, Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco said on March 13. The mega-mall and entertainment complex that has been two decades in the making was about to open its water park and retail wing.
Businesses in North Jersey are using stronger disinfectants and limiting face-to-face interaction to fight the spread of germs. Those more prone to human contact have been especially vigilant.
How local businesses and customers are coping and changing their behavior: “Everyone’s worried. You listen to the news and it scares you. But we’re still living our lives.”
As the virus hits New Jersey, how are public places, including restaurants, schools, theaters and public transportation, being affected? The institutions that operate these public spaces are responding to the threat in various ways.
NJ Transit has increased its cleaning procedures across its system of buses, trains, light rail, alternative transit vehicles and stations, the agency said March 3.
Officials in Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties said March 9 that they have suspended in-person contact visits to county jails by family and friends.
A nursing home in New Milford where at least five residents have died of complications of coronavirus is Bergen County’s first major outbreak at a long-term care facility. The disease already has nearly filled area hospitals. Sixteen residents and six staff members at Care One New Milford, known as Woodcrest, have tested positive for coronavirus and others are being tested.
There were eight deaths at the Lakeland Health Care Center, in the Haskell section of Wanaque. Some staff and residents of the facility are also ill at thre facility, which is on "lockdown" and not accepting new residents.
Not only are nursing home residents and workers at higher risk from the virus, but shortages of staff, supplies and federally distributed test kits, as well as lax infection-control practices at some nursing homes, could spell disaster.
Lonely funerals: The global pandemic that has taken thousands of lives around the world has also vanquished the rituals that have been a source of consolation to mourning families for eons.
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin on March 26 ordered the closure of all Catholic churches in the Newark Archdiocese as part of an array of strict new measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Wakes, funerals and weddings must be postponed.
The Newark Archdiocese on March 12 said it was suspending the celebration of Mass that weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The leading Orthodox rabbinical organization in Bergen County ordered an indefinite shutdown of all its synagogues on March 12 and is forbidding public gatherings among Jews in the community.
The dioceses of Newark and Paterson issued directives to decrease the risk for Catholic church-goers, including a suspension of offering wine and shaking hands during Mass. The Episcopal Church and some local synagogues and mosques issued health advisories to their congregations.
The NBA has decided to suspend its season amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to a statement from the league on March 11. The decision came after the Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.
The Big East, like every other major conference, announced plans to play the final three days of its championship in a mostly empty arena as a protective measure against the spread of coronavirus, leaving Seton Hall fans with useless tickets.
With key events scheduled across New Jersey the weekend of March 7-8, officials took steps to keep athletes and spectators safe.Thousands are attending the state’s High School Wrestling Championships in Atlantic City and the Big Ten Wrestling Championships at Rutgers. Concerns over the virus have prompted some sports groups to urge the NCAA to consider hosting tournaments in empty arenas.
Talking to kids about the virus
Be careful what you say around children — they hear everything. Lately, much of what they are overhearing is about coronavirus. The talk has been alarming and scary. So, how should parents and educators talk about the issue with children?
Here's a full list of New Jersey colleges with closings or switching to online classes.
The employee is self-quarantined at home and was last seen on campus on March 10
Princeton University classes will go all online after spring break as a response to the coronavirus, the first college in the state to do so, officials said on March 9. Rowan University in Glassboro said it is adding a week to spring break, which starts March 16. Students will return to class on March 30 instead of March 23, to give professors an extra week to make changes to courses inc case they need to be taught online. Fordham University and Columbia University planned to start remote classes mid-week, and Iona University in New Rochelle added days to spring break as a precaution.
Rutgers University said it will cancel classes from March 12 through the end of spring break on March 22. Beginning on March 23, all course instruction will be delivered remotely.
Seton Hall University in South Orange decided to suspend all in-person classes beginning on March 11, and classes will be online through at least Sunday, March 22.
At Montclair State University, spring break will be extended through March 22. Starting March 23, the majority of instruction will take place online for the rest of the semester.
Monmouth University is cancelling classes for the rest of the week after a student reported flu-like symptoms March 9. The cancellations include "face-to-face, hybrid and online" classes, which will resume after spring break on March 23.
Cancellations of college study abroad trips have affected hundreds of New Jersey college students, who face academic uncertainties, displacement and — in some cases — $2,000 flights to get home.
As February began, New Jersey colleges halted study abroad travel to China, cancelled short-term programs and monitored Chinese students and faculty here.
For many parents, the sudden shift to online learning has brought anxieties and questions as they try to be moms, dads, telecommuters and teachers. But they shouldn't worry or try to be perfect, say families who have home-schooled their children for years and who offered tip
Clifton schools will remain closed until at least March 29, with home instruction beginning on March 17. The almost 11,000 students should expect to receive instructional materials and guidelines for at-home instruction on March 16. The district, with almost 55% of its students considered economically disadvantaged, will provide breakfast and lunch to any school family that needs the meals starting Tuesday.
Questions answered about what parents and students need to know about the virus and the possibility of school closings.
Schools in all 75 Bergen County school districts will shut down and transition to online and paper learning in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, County Executive Jim Tedesco said March 12.
As schools consider closing their doors to slow the coronavirus, students could be missing out on more than just classroom instruction – they could also be missing daily nutrition. Across New Jersey, nearly half a million low-income students receive free meals at school, while more than 64,000 get them at reduced prices.
The state directed schools March 5 to make plans for home instruction in case they need to close due to worries about coronavirus. The guidance addressed a lingering concern for local school officials, saying the state will count days of home learning toward the requirement that districts provide 180 days of instruction.
Schools have plans in place for all sorts of emergencies, from active shooters to hurricanes. But coronavirus has confounded school leaders, with some districts prepping for online instruction in case an outbreak forces school closures.
Your stock portfolio
Coronavirus fears and plummeting oil prices spooked investors the morning of March 9, triggering a 7% drop — which caused a previously unused financial instrument that brought trading to a standstill for 15 minutes. The pause, known as a circuit breaker or trading curb, is a Securities and Exchange Commission mechanism based on percentage drops in the value of the S&P 500 Index.
As the stock market continued to fall amid concerns about a potential coronavirus pandemic, a small group of companies in the health industry show signs of growth. New Jersey's big pharmaceutical companies have had mixed results. Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick has said it is developing a coronavirus vaccine. Its shares lost about 5 percent of value in recent weeks — a much smaller loss than the average company.
At the airport
The union for workers at Newark, Kennedy and La Guardia airports says its members have not been properly trained and outfitted to reduce the risk of transmission. "You have cabin cleaners who come into contact with blood, vomit, mucus, feces, all types of bodily fluids," one union official said.
On Jan. 17, the U.S. said that passengers arriving in the United States from a Chinese city where an emerging virus outbreak has caused worldwide concern among health officials would be screened at three U.S. airports, including JFK.
In late January, the U.S. expanded its screening of arriving passengers from China to 20 airports — including Newark Liberty International.
In early February, the U.S. said that passengers arriving from China were being funneled to 11 U.S. airports — including Newark and JFK — where some will face mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Passengers on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked in Bayonne due to concerns over the novel coronavirus had their fears put to rest Feb. 8. Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted that four passengers sent to the hospital tested negative for coronavirus.
The coronavirus outbreak could prove damaging to the cruise ship industry, experts said, putting a business that serves millions of people in unprecedented turbulence.
And then there's the flu...
While officials have been focused on containing coronavirus, other respiratory diseases have been making their way like wildfire through New Jersey, killing hundreds and hospitalizing thousands — but getting far less attention. Influenza and pneumonia have claimed 1,091 lives in New Jersey from October through Feb. 15.
Past pandemics, outbreaks
First the epidemic. Then the epidemic of misinformation. No, pork salad can't give you swine flu. No, toilet seats can't give you AIDS. No, Corona beer can't give you coronavirus. When diseases spread, so do rumors. As the fear level rises over coronavirus, so does hearsay, hoaxes, magical thinking — everything that seems to accompany every epidemic, down through the centuries.
In 1918 at Camp Merritt in North Jersey, 578 people, including 557 enlisted men, died, victims of the influenza pandemic that infected 500 million people worldwide, and killed up to 100 million people before it ended in 1920.
If you're a worrier, you may have pondered the global outbreak of a scary disease. Ebola, perhaps, or SARS, or MERS. But when the sequel to the great 1918 Spanish flu pandemic happens — and it will — it could be our old friend, the flu.
A nurse forced into quarantine in New Jersey in 2014 on her way home from treating Ebola patients in Africa has settled her case against Gov. Chris Christie several years later.
Public health officials from New Jersey joined colleagues from across the nation in 2016 for a “Zika Summit” in Atlanta to plan strategies for protecting pregnant women from the mosquito-borne virus, which can cause catastrophic birth defects.
In January of 2020, a second New Jersey child died from flu complications this flu season as the state is reporting high levels of flu activity in all counties. During the 2018-2019 flu season, there were six confirmed children deaths in New Jersey.