New Jersey’s COVID-19 death rate spikes, totaling 537

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey reported more than 180 new coronavirus deaths on Thursday, double the number from the previous day, bringing the state’s total toll to 537 people. Gov. Phil Murphy says the jump stems from reporting delays as health care officials determine the cause of deaths. A surge of cases is hitting northern New Jersey, which health officials say is the hardest-hit part of the state so far. Murphy says New Jersey has more than 25,000 positive cases, up about 3,500 over the previous 24 hours. The state is preparing to open its first field hospital in the Meadowlands to handle non-coronavirus cases.