Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said thanks to help from President Donald Trump (R), and two other federal partners, New Jersey is prepared to set up three pop-up field hospitals, with the Secaucus location being the first one to be assembled.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The first site, which we will begin working on immediately in hopes of having it fully functional and ready to call into service, will be at the Meadowlands Convention Center in Secaucus,” Murphy said during a Trenton press conference to provide updates about the impact of the coronavirus across the state.
“I’m extremely grateful, and I want to repeat this, to President Trump, to FEMA, for making the field medical stations available to us, and for making [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] Col. Parke, and Pete, and their colleagues available to us as well.”
Last week, Murphy called on Trump, later joined by the rest of the New Jersey delegation, for military assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clearly, his call has been answered, noting on Monday that the president had committed to four locations, Politico reported. Today, the governor said that fourth location was yet to be determined.
“I cannot express my gratitude enough to the Army Corps for their quick work and ability to hit the ground at full force.”
According to U.S Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District Lt. Col. David Park, the Secaucus site could be up as quickly as the next seven to 10 days, with two other announced locations – in Edison and Atlantic City, respectively, to be ready within a month or so.
Murphy also said that throughout the state, there are 18,843 acute care beds, including 2,000 beds for those requiring critical care.
He explained that these three pop-up locations would provide 1,000 news beds: 250 in Secaucus and Atlantic City, respectively, and 250 in Edison.
“I’m fine with it, I just want to be kept in the loop to be able to let all our first responders know what’s happening,” Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli said over the phone this afternoon
He expressed cautious enthusiasm about his town having two testing sites (a drive-through testing center kicked off yesterday), noting that it’s a good thing – as long as everyone works together.
New Jersey Department of Heath Commissioner Judy Persichilli added that coronavirus cases in the Garden State continue to see a drastic upward trend as testing increased, with 4,402 cases reported – up 736 from yesterday.
In Hudson County, that figure now sits at 260, 26 more than Monday.
She further stated that out of the 18 new recorded deaths, now 62 overall, one more occurred in Hudson – meaning that 5 county residents have now succumbed to coronavirus-related complications.