New Jersey Issues First-of-its-Kind Report on COVID-19 Response

March 14, 2024

On Monday, March 11, 2024, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy released a more than 900-page independent report on the state's COVID-19 response, the first such report of its kind released by any state in the nation.

As reported on, the report found that New Jersey did many things right in response to COVID-19, achieving a significantly lower death rate than many other states. However, the authors of the report concluded that no amount of effort by public officials would have been enough to overcome weaknesses in healthcare infrastructure and the scarcity of medical supplies.

The report found that the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected Black and Latino residents in New Jersey, not just in their health outcomes, but in all facets of life. Stephanie Silvera, Epidemiologist and Associate Dean of Research at Montclair State University, was quoted on saying, "A lot of [the issue] is actually some of our economic policies that don't allow communities that have been historically disenfranchised opportunities to build wealth, to gain access to the systems that we need in order to be healthier…So, we're talking about access to healthy foods, access to safe places for recreation, access to jobs that allow you to have PPE [personal protective equipment] or work from home, or not just [have a] living wage, but a thriving wage."

The report authors highlighted that inadequacies in training, staffing, and resources contributed to COVID-19's impact on the state, and also offered nearly 70 pages of recommendations regarding what can be done to mitigate such issues. Among the recommendations are that the state ensure healthcare facilities are accessible beyond the traditional 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. timeframe; invest in healthcare facilities in communities that lack such infrastructure; and strengthen partnerships with local community leaders.

Click here to read more on this story, and click here to access the full report itself.

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