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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is holding his daily press conference on the Covid-19 outbreak, which has infected at least 128,269 people in the state, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
On Monday, Murphy announced that the state’s schools will stay closed for the remainder of the academic year to continue to curb further spread of the coronavirus.
“As I have noted before, we are working with the principle that public health creates economic health, or in this case, public health creates educational health,” Murphy said at a news briefing.
The governor directed all private and public school leaders to update their preparedness plans to continue remote learning. He said a decision on potential summer programs has not yet been made.
After declaring a state of emergency and a public health emergency on March 9, the New Jersey governor closed all public and private schools and colleges in the state on March 18 to mitigate the spread of the disease.
During the press conference, Murphy also announced that he’s rescinding the executive order signed on June 30, 2019, which directed the state’s treasury department to achieve a $1.28 billion surplus by the end of this fiscal year.
“This is no longer feasible” due to “plummeting state revenues” and “skyrocketing costs” of fighting the pandemic, he said.
“We’re on the brink of having to make very tough, and quite frankly, very unpalatable decisions … We need to have these funds as a safeguard should direct federal assistance to our state fail to surface,” he added.
The coronavirus has infected more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. and has killed at least 68,934 people, according to Hopkins. Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 3.6 million people and has killed at least 251,898.