Gov. Murphy signs executive order extending grace periods for insurance premiums

UPDATED: 3:07 p.m. 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) Gov. Phil Murphy announced Thursday that the state has 3,748 additional positive coronavirus cases, bringing the state total to 51,027 cases. Murphy said 7,363 residents are hospitalized, with 1,523 of those individuals requiring intensive care, and 1,551 people on ventilators. 

He also said 471 residents have been discharged and sent home within the past 24 hours. 

With 198 additional coronavirus-related deaths, the state total is now at 1,700.

The governor doubled down on closing parks across the state, saying it was clear people were not practicing social distancing at parks when the weather started getting nice.

He also noted that social distancing seems to be working in controlling virus spread. That said, religious gatherings this weekend really need to be kept low.

“There have been online Sedars and many churches will be offering online Easter services. These are critical means for us to come together even though, ironically, we have to stay apart,” he said.

The governor is also signing an executive order extending the grace period for those who might not be able to pay their insurance premiums because of COVID-19.

The executive order requires a minimum 60-day grace period for health and dental policies, and a 90-day grace period for home and auto insurance, life insurance, and more.

South Jersey Congressman Andy Kim was on hand for this briefing, and noted his request for FEMA to open a South Jersey virus testing site. Two are open up north. 

His request was made two weeks ago, and so far he’s gotten nowhere, although the state has a commitment to keep FEMA testing in place until at least the end of May.

Testing sites at the shore 

Public sites for coronavirus testing will open next week for residents down the shore.

Atlantic County opened a site for first responders behind the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing. That’s where county residents with noticeable symptoms will go Tuesday, April 14 and Thursday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

They will have to make an appointment online at www.aclink.org. Residents must bring a doctor’s prescription and proof of residency and an appointment with them.

In Cape May County, a drive-thru test site will operate for residents who show symptoms on Wednesdays starting April 15. Again, appointments must be set up in advance online at www.completecarenj.org or by calling 609-465-0258. Once an appointment is made, patients will be told when and where to report to be tested.

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KYW Newsradio's David Madden contributed to this report.