NJ COVID-19 Cases Exceed 10k, Gov. Murphy Announces 90-Day Mortgage Payment Grace Period

By: Christian Oberly

Governor Phil Murphy at the March 28 press briefing.

TRENTON, N.J. — Governor Phil Murphy held a press briefing on Saturday, March 28 to provide more updates on New Jersey’s war against COVID-19.

He began with the latest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. Rising by 2,289 cases from yesterday, we are now at 11,124 total. And, sadly, 32 more New Jerseyans have died of the disease, bringing the total number of deaths to 140 since March 10.

Overall, 29,822 people have been tested for COVID-19 in New Jersey, according to New Jersey Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli. Out of those, 10,436 returned as positive — a rate of almost 35%.

She also explained that, currently, 71 of 375 long-term care facilities in the state have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19.

Another important announcement concerned mortgage relief for New Jersey residents affected economically by the COVID-19 outbreak. In concert with many large and small banks — including Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and others — Governor Murphy announced that there would be a 90-day grace period on mortgage payments for borrowers impacted by the outbreak.

Taking advantage of this grace period will not negatively affect someone’s credit rating or incur late fees.

This boon builds on a previous announcement from Murphy promising a 60-day moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in the state

Before ending his remarks, Governor Murphy urged New Jersey residents to access 2020Census.gov to complete their census questionnaire online. He highlighted the importance of the census for ensuring New Jersey is able to receive the proper amount of federal aid. “We were undercounted in 2010,” he said, noting that, because of that, New Jersey has left valuable funding on the table.

Additionally, the deadline to obtain a “REAL ID” has been pushed back. The REAL ID is a form of identification that will be required when flying on commercial aircraft and accessing federal facilities. The original deadline to obtain one was Oct. 1, 2020, but now it has been moved to Oct. 1, 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The new deadline was announced by President Donald Trump last Monday.

For more local updates, check out our dedicated COVID-19 page.

The state’s COVID-19 page has already been accessed by over 1,600,000 individuals. It includes a jobs portal with over 43,000 positions from 445 different employers available in critical industries across the state. Find it at COVID19.nj.gov. There is also a page for volunteers looking to help with the response to the virus and over 2,000 people have already signed up, according to Beth Simone Noveck, New Jersey’s Chief Innovation Officer.