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NJ Gov Signs Order Letting Police Commandeer Medical Equipment

He hopes the state will not have to use the power it authorized.

AP File

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey state police can now commandeer health supplies to address the COVID-19 outbreak under an executive order issued by Gov. Phil Murphy.

Murphy signed the order Thursday, saying he hopes the state will not have to use the power it authorized. Companies have been voluntarily donating medical equipment, and the first-term Democrat said he's hopeful companies and people will continue doing the right thing.

The order complements an earlier executive order requiring all businesses to submit an inventory of personal protective equipment, including gloves, masks, ventilators and anesthesia machines, Murphy said. New Jersey is a hot spot for the virus, with more than 500 deaths and over 25,000 positive cases.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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