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The number of people who work or live at New Jersey’s four state-run psychiatric hospitals and tested positive for the coronavirus rose 38 percent this week to 387, according to the state Department of Health.
Two patients died in the last week, adding to the five who died from the viral respiratory outbreak, for a total of seven patient fatalities, Health Department spokeswoman Dawn Thomas said.
In addition, four psychiatric hospital employees have died, Health Department spokeswoman Donna Leusner said.
Gwen Orlowski, executive director for Disability Rights, a legal advocacy group for people with disabilities, said she remains concerned about the infection rate. But she also expressed appreciation policies that have been imposed involving segregating people who have the disease from those who are awaiting test results and people who do not show signs of illness. She said he learned this from the most recent the recent weekly meeting officials from Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration.
“They took our complaints seriously and instituted protocols with respect to PPE (personal protective equipment and cohorting,” Orlowski said. “I was comforted by the call.”