Governor Phil Murphy announced an additional 1,642 positive COVID-19 cases, increasing the statewide total to 1,005,006. An additional 16 deaths were announced, increasing the statewide total to 24,656. There have been 11,682,192 doses of vaccinations administered in NJ, with 5,864,931 individuals who live, work, or study in NJ fully vaccinated.
The NJ Department of Children and Families (DCF) has seen a recent increase in calls to the Children System of Care Hotline from parents whose children are experiencing increased stress early in the morning while preparing for their school day. As a result, a new page has been added onto the COVID-19 information hub for the state: covid19.nj.com/youthhelp for mental health support resources. The Administration has invested over $100 million.
The Governor advised that, as of Wednesday, there are 38 school districts reporting cases of in-school transmission; 39 outbreaks have been reported. There are 182 student cases reported and 37 staff cases reported.
Wednesday, the NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced it is approving its first round of support for small businesses impacted by Hurricane Ida. https://www.njeda.com/henri-ida-grant/
Colonel Pat Callahan advised there will be another town hall for Hurricane Ida relief on Monday, October 4th at 5:15pm. You can register at bit.ly/idatownhall.
Commissioner of DCF, Christine Norbut Beyer, announced on Wednesday that children are having a hard time transitioning back to in-person instruction and are experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges. Help is available at 877-652-7624. Some signs of emotional or behavioral challenges include: prolonged opposition and aggression, property damage and disrespect, feelings of anxiety or depression, a pattern or prolonged lying or fighting, stealing or substance use, or running away or engaging in acts of self-harm. The 2nd Floor Program is also available for youths to reach out themselves: 888-222-2228, 2ndfloor.org or text "NJ" to 741-741.
The Governor advised that all State workers should be returning to offices by October 18th.
The Governor announced on Monday the "Return and Earn" Program. The two track program, intended for small businesses with less than 100 employees, will provide incentives for both employers and employees. The program will pay employers up to $10,000 per employee in wage subsidies to hire and help train new employees, up to $40,000 overall. $10,000 wage subsidy is meant to help cover wages for a new employee for up to their first six months on the job, the positions to be filled must pay at least $15 per hour. New employees would get a one-time supplemental payment of $500 in their first check, in addition to any potential hiring bonus the employer may provide. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development will be running the program, which will begin with $10 million in federal funding. More information is forthcoming, learn more here: nj.gov/labor/returnandearn.
Last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a booster dose of Pfizer for certain groups who received their primary doses at least six months ago. Please click here for more information on eligibility. The CDC is evaluating data for the prospects of booster shots for those who have received the Johnson and Johnson and Moderna vaccines.
The CDC recently found in a study of Arizona schools that the odds of a school-associated COVID-19 outbreak in schools without a mask requirement were 3.5 times higher than those in schools with an early mask requirement. A second study found that pediatric hospitalizations in counties whose schools do not require masking are more than double than in counties where masking is required.