North-JerseyNews.com Roundup for Sept. 14, 2021 | North-JerseyNews.com

The data in New Jersey shows that while breakthrough cases for COVID-19 continue to rise, those hospitalized and dying are almost exclusively of the unvaccinated. For the week of Aug. 23-29, breakthrough cases accounted for 21.6% of all new cases (2,602 of 12,051), 3.7% of new hospitalizations (35 of 945), and none of the 80 deaths. The percentage for new cases increased (16.9%) but declined for hospilizations (4.5%) from the week before. “Vaccines are the pathway out of this pandemic,” said New Jersey Department of Health Judith Persichilli at a press briefing Sept. 13. North-JerseyNews.com

New Jersey will re-establish some of the large regional vaccination infrastructure closed earlier this year to accommodate an expected rise in demand for COVID-19 shots once booster doses receive federal approval and more government immunization mandates take effect. Gov. Phil Murphy warned that no matter how the program rolls out, demand could exceed system capacity from the first. “This is a work in progress,” Murphy said of the plan to reopen some of the state’s six original mega-sites. “But I promise you, we will be ready. And I would also promise you this, we will overbuild, rather than underbuild.” NJ Spotlight News

Twenty-two police officers at varying levels of government died due to COVID-19 last week, State Police Superintendent Pat Callahan revealed at a press briefing Sept. 13. “I do think the reluctance to get vaccinated has contributed,” Callahan said, who added it was the most weekly deaths seen in years. “I don’t think I could land on any other conclusion there.” The news comes as local police unions, including Wayne and Newark, have emerged as fierce opponents of vaccine mandates enacted as the state’s COVID-19 cases continue their Delta variant-fueled climb. New Jersey Monitor

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Hospitals in the southern United States are running dangerously low on space in intensive care units, as the Delta variant has led to spikes in coronavirus cases not seen since last year’s deadly Winter wave. One in four hospitals now reports more than 95% of I.C.U. beds occupied—up from one in five last month. In June, when COVID-19 cases were at their lowest level, less than one in 10 hospitals had dangerously high occupancy rates. The New York Times

Investigations into COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes in the Northeast remain active amid mounting revelations of the true coronavirus death toll among elderly Americans. Prosecutors in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey continued to pursue probes of everything from potential Medicaid fraud to governmental and operator malfeasance linked to thousands of nursing home deaths in the states since early 2020. The investigations, several of which have already spanned nearly a year, are unfolding as new research suggests government counts likely missed more than 16,000 COVID-19 deaths in U.S. nursing homes during the early months of the pandemic last year. The Daily Record

The number of people in New Jersey who died during flooding associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ida has increased to 30. The victim, not one that was previously reported missing, had been hospitalized and succumbed to injuries sustained during the storm. NJ.com

Three disaster recovery centers (DRC) are now up and running, staffed by representatives from federal and state agencies, to help New Jersey residents who suffered damage from Ida and are in need of assistance from the government. ​​The Federal Emergency Management Agency has set up shop in Gloucester, Middlesex and Passaic counties. Anyone who lives in one of the New Jersey counties currently designated for individual assistance, and suffered damage as a direct result of Ida, can visit a DRC location for help. The agency expects to open more centers soon. NJ1015.com

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. introduced legislation to aid factory workers who lose their jobs when corporations move facilities across national borders. The bill comes just weeks after Nabisco closed its Fair Lawn facility. Pascrell introduced the Improved Access to Trade Adjustment Assistance Act designed to make it easier for fired workers to obtain federal assistance for job training after their positions were moved to another country. “My bill will close this cruel loophole to make it easier for workers to access this important retraining program. I will continue to demand answers from corporations eliminating good paying union jobs here in the United States while creating low-wage jobs abroad to benefit their bottom line. I will push hard to see this bill enacted into law this year,” the Congressman said. North-JerseyNews.com

House Democrats spelled out their proposed tax increases on Sept. 14, pushing higher rates on corporations, investors and high-income business owners for their $3.5 trillion legislation to expand the social safety net and combat climate change. The plan would increase the top corporate tax rate to 26.5% from 21%, impose a 3-percentage-point surtax on people making over $5 million and raise capital-gains taxes. Additionally, lawmakers are looking elsewhere to cover the rest of the budget by having the government save $700 billion from prescription drug pricing policy changes, while asserting that their agenda would spur $600 billion in budgetary savings from faster economic growth. The Wall Street Journal

However, the tax proposal failed to increase the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT). While the House Ways and Means Committee proposal is not the final word on the legislation, the absence of a provision increasing the $10,000 deduction cap could make it harder to get the provision into the final bill. “What we consider now is an important step in the process, but not the final step,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell, the only New Jersey member of the tax-writing committee. “We are committed to enacting a law that will include meaningful SALT relief that is so essential to our middle class communities and we are working daily toward that goal.” NJ.com

While the nation continues to wait for the passage of a federal infrastructure package, mass transit officials in New Jersey aren’t resting on their laurels. Two mass transit projects are moving ahead, with one focused on the Meadowlands, and another on mass rail transit at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). NJ Transit awarded its first contract under the “Innovation Challenge” Meadowlands Transitway Project, choosing HNTB Corporation of New York for the $3.5 million contract. Meanwhile, the Port Authority won a key federal environmental approval to develop a world-class mass rail transit at EWR as part of a larger overall plan to do the same at all of the airports under its jurisdiction. North-JerseyNews.com

A State Superior Court Judge ruled in favor of petitioners with Teaneck’s One Town One Vote initiative, allowing a ballot referendum moving local elections to November from May to be placed on this year’s general election ballot. Judge Robert Walker ruled on Sept. 13 that it should be up to voters to decide whether the election is moved, and therefore the referendum question should be on the ballot this Fall. The Record

A Hudson County Superior Court judge has ruled three candidates who filed to run for city council at-large seats will be placed on the November ballot, a decision the city had requested after maintaining a deputy city clerk failed to meet certain election criteria. City officials had found defects in petition signatures submitted by Ian Rintel, Manny Rivera and Cindy Wiegand, but informed the candidates after the deadline to amend the petitions, giving them an extra six days to fix their petitions. The Jersey Journal

Paterson held its first day of in-person instruction since early 2020 for many students in the city on Sept. 13. Students at two schools—public schools 20 and 24—will be virtual until further notice due to damage brought on by Ida. News12 New Jersey   

The Wyckoff Board of Education went against the Township Committee’s wishes by voting to return its election to November. The vote countermands the Township Committee’s vote on Aug. 25 moving the election from November to April. Board attorney Stephen Fogarty stated that the vote is effective for four years, and cannot be overruled by the Committee. The Record

Gov. Phil Murphy launched his first TV ad of his general election campaign on Sept. 13, highlighting two central themes of his re-election bid: moving New Jersey forward and building a state that works for all people. Filmed in Newark’s Military Park with the governor walking with a diverse group of women, men and children, Murphy states “My job? Moving New Jersey forward. And making New Jersey work for all of us…That’s my job. And, with your help, I’ll keep working at it. We’re not going back.” New Jersey Globe

Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R- 26) is proposing two amendments to the state Constitution focused on how the votes of citizens are to be counted. The first proposal will give one electoral vote to each presidential and vice-presidential candidates for each congressional district the candidates win. Two additional votes will be granted to the team that wins the majority of the state’s congressional districts. DeCroce’s second proposal would require voters to elect one Assembly candidate from each half of the legislative district instead of two legislators elected at-large from the entire district.  The amendment would create 80 Assembly districts instead of 40 without increasing the size of the Assembly. InsiderNJ

And finally…Fall foliage forecast is looking ‘vibrant’ in parts of N.J. NJ.com

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)


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