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New Jersey’s coronavirus death toll surpasses that of 3 wars

The coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey has claimed 5,863 lives — more state residents than were killed in World War I, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined.

“When we say we’re in a war, we mean it,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Saturday as he announced the tragic total, an increase of 249 deaths from the day before. “It’s an extraordinary loss of life.”

New Jersey has logged 105,523 patients testing positive for COVID-19, second only to New York state’s 272,000 cases — but because testing has lagged the outbreak nationwide, Murphy said, “we guarantee you that’s not the number.”

But in a positive sign, he said, the hospitalization rate statewide has decreased and the number of patients needing ventilators has dropped.

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