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3 new states, DC, Puerto Rico added to NJ travel advisory

July 28, 2020 GMT
FILE- In this June 19, 2020 file photo, New Jersey Gov, Phil Murphy encourages residents to continue wearing face masks while in public during a coronavirus daily news briefing at the War Memorial building in Trenton, N.J. Murphy said on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, that since Monday, July 27, the state had added nearly 600 new positive COVID019 cases, with 24 new deaths from the virus. Total cases now exceed 180,000. (Tariq Zehawi/The Record via AP, Pool, File)
FILE- In this June 19, 2020 file photo, New Jersey Gov, Phil Murphy encourages residents to continue wearing face masks while in public during a coronavirus daily news briefing at the War Memorial building in Trenton, N.J. Murphy said on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, that since Monday, July 27, the state had added nearly 600 new positive COVID019 cases, with 24 new deaths from the virus. Total cases now exceed 180,000. (Tariq Zehawi/The Record via AP, Pool, File)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Three more states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have been added to the list of states whose residents traveling to New Jersey must quarantine for two weeks because of COVID-19.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday that Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota, along with the capital and the Caribbean island bring the total list of affected states and territories to 36.

The travel advisory calls for travelers from those places to quarantine for 14 days and applies to states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or those with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

New Jersey’s positivity rate has been hovering around 2% or lower and has seen new hospitalizations fall 40% from two weeks ago, according to the governor’s office. New hospitalizations since the virus’s peak in April are down 97%. The state has 4.5 new cases per day per 100,000 residents, ranking 44th in the country, according to Murphy’s office.

The advisory applies to travelers from Alaska; Alabama; Arkansas; Arizona; California; Delaware; District of Columbia, Florida; Georgia; Illinois, Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Kansas; Kentucky, Louisiana; Maryland; Minnesota, Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Washington; and Wisconsin.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness or death.

A look at other developments:

MORE MONEY FOR BUSINESSES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday that $15 million in federal funding has been made available to small businesses struggling from the coronavirus outbreak.

Murphy said the funds stem from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and is in addition to more than $100 million in aid administered by the state’s Economic Development Authority.

So far, nearly 11,000 businesses have been approved for grants, according to the governor. The program is not currently accepting more applicants, he added.

“COVID-19 is first and foremost a health crisis, but also a severe economic crisis, and nowhere is that more evident than in the state’s small business community,” Murphy, a Democrat, said.

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Murphy spoke Tuesday at A-List hair salon in North Brunswick, which got a $10,000 grant after being closed for three months because of the outbreak.

Co-owner April Scelsa said the salon used the funds to buy personal protective equipment and keep workers on payroll.

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NEW FIGURES

Murphy also reported that since Monday, the state had added nearly 600 new positive cases, with 24 new deaths from the virus. Total cases now exceed 180,000. The death toll stands at 13,905, plus 1,902 deaths that health officials determined were likely caused by COVID-19.

The rate of transmission, which measures how many people one infected person passes the virus to, ticked up to 1.14 from 1.09, Murphy said.

New Jersey is in the middle of Stage 2, of three, of reopening. Murphy earlier paused reopening given outbreaks elsewhere in the country and a failure to follow social distancing guidelines in the state.

On Tuesday sounded a note of caution about the latest figures.

“It’s a mixed bag at best,” he said. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

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