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LIVE COVID-19 UPDATES: Cash toll collection suspended on Expressway, Parkway and Delaware Memorial Bridge

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NJ Turnpike Authority, Delaware River and Bay Authority and South Jersey Transportation Authority halt cash tolls collection

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority will suspend cash collections at all toll locations on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway as of 10:00 p.m. Tuesday. The move is due to COVID-19 concerns.

The South Jersey Transportation Authority also suspended toll collection on the Atlantic City Expressway at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The Delaware River and Bay Authority announced Wednesday morning that the same change will take effect for the Delaware Memorial Bridge on Thursday, March 26, at 12:01 a.m. All lanes will be available to all drivers.

All tolls will be collected electronically. Drivers without an E-ZPass tag will be sent an invoice for the toll by mail; with no additional administrative fees, the authorities announced.

The NJTA advised cash customers who do not want to be billed to open an E-ZPass account by calling the New Jersey E-ZPass Customer Service Center at 888-AUTO-TOLL (888-288-6865) or by visiting www.ezpassnj.com.

NJ COVID-19 deaths grow

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 has increased by 846, bringing the total number of cases to 3,675 across the state, officials said.

So far, there are six cases each in Atlantic and Cape May counties and one in Cumberland County.

“I believe that means New Jersey is the number two state in the nation,” Murphy said. “But I would also remind everybody that we have been aggressive and particularly of late in our testing regime.”

There have been 17 additional deaths, bringing the total to 44.

“This is by far our largest single-day report of new deaths, so it was with a particularly heavy heart that we report this today,” he said, adding that officials have been fully expecting numbers of cases to increase dramatically as testing and test processing increases.

The deaths included five in Bergen County, three in Morris County, three in Essex County, two in Hudson County and one each in Monmouth, Camden, Passaic and Union counties, said state Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

Nine of the total deaths have been associated with long-term care facilities, she said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Also during the briefing, Murphy said that the state Department of Education and the Attorney’s General’s Office have applied to cancel all student standardized testing for April and fully expected the waiver to be granted.

“With students at home and not in their regular classrooms, it is simply not feasible for us to move forward with testing in any meaningful way,” he said. “This decision will not impact the graduation requirements of any student.”

Schools are still closed until further notice, he added.

Source: State of New Jersey Department of Health

Positive test in Cape May County

A 32-year-old female New York resident tested positive for Covid-19 in Cape May County, according to the Cape May County Health Department. 

There have been 6 reported cases of COVID-19 in the county.

Springsteen, Bon Jovi help state spread word on relief fund

First lady Tammy Murphy on Tuesday unveiled the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund with a video featuring some of the state's biggest celebrities, including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart and Bon Jovi.

She said in an emailed statement that all the fund's money would go toward fighting medical, social, and economic impact of COVID-19 on the state's most vulnerable. She said administrative costs would be covered by grants.

Jeweler answers hospital's call

M.S. Brown Jewelers in Cape May Court House is using the fabric from its brown and gold jewelry bags to sew face masks for nurses and doctors that need them. They'll be delivering the goods to the Cape Regional Medical Center.

Seaside Heights cracks down on visitors

Seaside Heights Mayor Anthony Vaz instructed town officials to close beaches to better adhere to the governor's weekend order for the state's nonessential businesses to close for gatherings to cease.

The mayor also told people with vacation homes in the Ocean County town to stay away, according to NJ.com.

The U. S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to New Jersey small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

A free webinar will answer questions about the available programs 12 p.m. Wednesday, Mar. 25. Space is limited. Register here: https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/9fBoCZ

State officials scheduled a 2 p.m. briefing Tuesday to update residents on the spread of COVID-19.

Appearing for the briefing will be Governor Phil Murphy, Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, Department of Health Communicable Disease Service Medical Director Dr. Edward Lifshitz, Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Chris Neuwirth and State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan.

It will be livestreamed here.

So far, there have been 2,844 cases of the new coronavirus identified across the state and there have been 27 deaths.

There are six cases in Atlantic County, five in Cape May County and one in Cumberland County.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Contact: 609-272-7241

mbilinski@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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