N.J. passes 10,000 COVID-19 fatalities — a figure topped by only 6 countries

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday the state has surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 fatalities — a sobering statistic no matter how you look at it.

Here are two ways:

  • Only five countries (other than the U.S.) have reached this total. The U.K. (33,000), Italy (31,000), France and Spain (27,000 each), and Brazil (14,000);
  • Massachusetts, at 5,482, is the only state other than New York (27,000) to have reached even half the total New Jersey has.

Murphy announced 201 more fatalities Friday, bringing the total to 10,138 — or 13 times the number of New Jerseyans lost on 9/11.

“We have passed a grim and solemn milestone,” Murphy said.

Other numbers

There were 1,207 more COVID-19 cases, raising the state total to 143,905.

And here are the hospital numbers, as of 10 p.m. Thursday night:

  • Hospitalized: 3,823;
  • In intensive/cardiac care: 1,127;
  • On ventilators: 865;
  • Admitted: 285;
  • Discharged: 357;
  • In FEMA hospitals: 42.

The numbers represent the second consecutive day the state has had fewer than 4,000 hospitalized.

Voting by mail

Murphy announced the state’s July 7 primary election will be done “primarily” by mail.

All registered Democratic and Republican voters will automatically receive a postage-paid vote-by-mail ballot, he said. All unaffiliated and inactive voters will automatically receive a postage-paid vote-by-mail ballot application.

In addition to returning them by U.S. Postal Service, the state will also require counties to distribute secure drop boxes for voters to turn in their completed ballots.

Murphy said the state will ensure that a limited number of in-person polling places in each county will be open.

“While many voters have seamlessly transitioned to voting by mail, we know there are other voters who prefer to cast their ballot in person, in addition to voters with disabilities who cannot fill out a vote-by-mail ballot,” he said. “For in-person voting, we plan to require at least one polling location to be opened in each municipality, and social distancing protocols will be enforced within these polling locations, including the sanitizing of touch-screen voting machines between voters.”

Murphy said the deadline by which votes must be received by a county board of elections to be counted as valid will be extended from 48 hours after polls close to seven days after polls close — but noted that the ballot must be postmarked by election day.

Final word

Murphy on voting by mail.

Our goals are twofold — to maximize our democracy while minimizing the risk of illness. We want everyone to participate in a safe and fully democratic process.”

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