COVID-19 data for Township of Montclair by Adam Schrager.

New Jersey is seeing a spike in new COVID-19 infections. On Monday, Gov. Murphy announced that New Jersey’s rate of transmission – the rate at which COVID-19 spreads from one person to another – exceeds 1.0 for the first time in 10 weeks. Murphy, describing this change as an early warning sign, added that the rate indicates that for every new case of COVID-19 we’re seeing, that case is leading to at least one other new case.

Montclair Health & Human Services Director Sue Portuese says her department has been conducting case investigation and contact tracing since the start of the pandemic and will do so as long as it continues.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, a case investigator from the Montclair Health Department might call you to check-in on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with and ask you to stay at home to self-isolate.

Unless you give permission, your name will not be revealed to those you came in contact with, even if they ask.

“People who have been exposed to a known positive case should self-quarantine for 14 days from last exposure,” adds Portuese.

Self quarantining ensures that the contact does not get sick themselves and that they don’t potentially spread the virus to others. During quarantine at home, watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

Who needs to quarantine?

Anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Close contact includes:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 10 minutes
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

According to the Center for Disease Control, even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should stay home (quarantine) since symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Montclair High School’s in-person graduation was postponed Tuesday out of an “abundance of caution.”

In a letter to parents and caregivers, Dr. Jonathan Ponds said the district was ‘notified yesterday that there was possible exposure to COVD-19 at several graduation celebration parties.”

In Montclair, resident Adam Schrager has taken the daily COVID-19 numbers released by the township of Montclair since March 17 and has charted both new and total infections. Schrager’s chart illustrates how the line for total infections had started to flatten for a time, only to continue upward.