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ShopRite, Wakefern donate trailers to transport equipment for pop-up hospitals

Brianna Kudisch | NJ.com

A major food corporation has helped Gov. Phil Murphy’s office secure trailers that will transport hospital equipment during the coronavirus outbreak.

Wakefern Food Corp., which owns and operates ShopRite and other supermarkets, has donated 12 trailers to transport hospital equipment to new pop-up field hospitals being organized around New Jersey.

“I want to give a shout out today, among others, to ShopRite and Wakefern Food Corp. for their help in securing trailers for the mobile field hospital equipment,” Gov. Murphy said at his daily briefing on Wednesday. “We are preparing, based on what we see, in real time,” he added. “We must be ready to ensure hospital capacity and it is my fervent hope that these preparedness measures remain just that—measures of preparedness.”

The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management’s Urban Search and Rescue Unit has already received the equipment, which came from the federal government and will be used to operate the makeshift facilities, according to a spokeswoman for the governor.

The four pop-up field hospitals will be spread across the state. The locations will be: the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, the New Jersey Convention Center and Exposition Center in Edison, the Atlantic City Convention Center, and a state Urban Search and Rescue Facility that’s yet to be determined.

Officials did not provide a timetable for when the field hospitals would be set up, but said they are “en route” from the federal government.

Officials said each facility will house 250 beds to be occupied by critical care patients who don’t have symptoms of COVID-19. The overflow facilities will attempt to alleviate stress placed on New Jersey hospitals, some of which are nearing capacity amid the influx of coronavirus patients.

New Jersey has at least 6,876 known cases of the coronavirus, with 81 deaths, as of Thursday afternoon.

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