New Jersey Allows 18,000 Pharmacists to Give Covid-19 Tests

New Jersey authorized 18,000 pharmacists to give Covid-19 tests to residents without a prescription, boosting testing capacity as the state continues a gradual reopening, Governor Phil Murphy said.

“It’s the place they trust — the pharmacists they know,” Murphy said of those seeking tests. He saidCVS will offer self-swab tests around the state by the end of the month.

The governor also authorized the resumption of in-person auto, motorcycle and bicycle sales starting Wednesday morning, and issued guidance for the resumption of elective and non-urgent medical procedures next week.

New virus cases rose by 1,055 to 149,013, a 0.7% increase that matched the prior seven-day average.

21,551 in U.S.Most new cases today

-14% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​041 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-4.​8% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), April

New Jersey has revised how it counts fatalities at long-term care facilities, which the state previously said accounted for half the deaths. On Tuesday, Murphy said the figure was 4,295 fatalities -- 1,400 fewer than the earlier counts -- because it now was including only laboratory-confirmed cases.

By the new data, nursing homes and similar residences account for 41% of 10,586 deaths, which increased 162 from the day before.

On April 14, 8,293 coronavirus patients were in New Jersey hospitals. In the past 24 hours, that figure was 3,481 patients, with 977 in intensive care and 789 on ventilators. In the past 24 hours, 161 hospital patients were discharged, but 173 with coronavirus were admitted.

Murphy on Monday said the state was in the first of a three-stage reopening, allowing relatively low-risk activities such as charter fishing and nonessential construction, with social distancing. Even late in the process, he said “safeguarding and modifications” will be in place at most workplaces, off-peak mass transportation may be encouraged, and reduced-capacity rules may apply to such places as bars and schools.

The governor hasn’t given a date for when he expects no restrictions, but expects widespread vaccine access to be in place first.

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