The numbers of cases were down about 34 percent today, but officials said the reporting is on tests taken about seven days ago.


Although Montclair is not reporting any new deaths as of today, March 31, the number of cases of COVID-19 among its residents climbed from 79 to 96 today, said township health officials. 

State officials reported today 2,196 new COVID-19 cases in total, down about 34 percent from the 3,347 reported yesterday. But 69 New Jerseyans died overnight, two of whom were in their 30s, officials reported. 

The state is now reporting a total of 18,669 residents with COVID-19, of which 267 people have died throughout New Jersey from complications related to the virus.

According to State Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, of the people who have died from complications with COVID-19:

  • 55 percent were male
  • 45 percent female
  • 1 percent were less than 30 years in age
  • 12 percent were between the ages of 30-49
  • 17 percent were between the ages of 50-64
  • 30 percent were between the ages of 65-70
  • 47 percent were over 80 years old
  • 42 percent had underlying health issues
  • 58 percent are still under investigation for health histories
  • 19 percent were in long-term care facilities

For the second day in a row, Essex County had the largest number of new cases in the state, with 237 reported compared to Bergen County’s 235. Yesterday, Essex saw 280 new cases, surpassing Bergen County’s 249. 

Bergen County continues to have the most cases with 2,909 as of today. There are 1,900 positively identified cases in Essex County to date.

The county released data that as of 9 a.m. this morning, 1,986 county residents had tested positive, with 36 resulting in death. It is not clear why these numbers differ from the state’s total with the exception that the numbers are constantly changing.

To date, 27,077 residents have tested negative throughout New Jersey, while Essex County is reporting that 1,714 county residents have tested negative. Of the 44,330 test results received so far from throughout New Jersey, 17,253 were positive, giving about a 39 percent positivity rate. Results now take about seven days from the day of testing; the closure of nonessential business and the stay-at-home order was issued 10 days ago.

There are currently 26 testing sites throughout New Jersey.

Gov. Phil Murphy said that Abbott Laboratories, which is working on a rapid COVID-19 test that takes anywhere from five to 13 minutes to get results, has picked Bergen County to launch the test. The company could start delivering the tests as early as next week.

Taking a hard line on noncompliance, the city of Newark issued 161 summonses last night and closed down 15 nonessential businesses. Where in the past only the host of the gathering was cited, now all participants are getting summonses, said acting superintendent of the State Police Patrick Callahan.

 Although the governor allowed municipalities and counties to have local rule over the decision whether to close their parks, state parks remain open. Residents wanting to visit are asked to visit the one closest to them. All bathroom facilities are closed and visitors must adhere to the six-foot distance rule. 

In addition, the state opened up trout fishing season early, with early release of the fish and with waterways open for fishing tomorrow.

Jaimie is an award-winning journalist and editor.