TRENTON — Most New Jersey residents getting assistance formerly called food stamps will be getting more aid because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gov. Phil Murphy's administration said Friday that roughly 60% of the 340,000 households who get help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will see an extra benefit payment on Sunday. Families that already get the federal maximum amount won't be eligible for the higher benefit, but Murphy's administration says about 205,000 households will qualify for it.

The money comes as part of federal legislation that set aside $70 million for New Jersey families.

New Jersey had about 7,000 positive cases of coronavirus at of Thursday, and ha had 81 deaths.

A closer look at other developments:


Lakewood police on Thursday cited a resident for violating Murphy's executive order barring gatherings.

Police told that while officers responded to a car accident, they spotted two vans full of people and a tent set up in a backyard apparently in anticipation of a wedding celebration.

The Ocean County prosecutor's office said in a statement that the gathering was dispersed and a future court day is pending.


New Jersey's second biggest city is opening two testing centers for the virus, one drive-through and the other walk-up.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop is set to open the centers on Friday for city residents only.

He says that appointments are required and residents should call 201-547-5535.


For most people, the new 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.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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