New Jersey is considered to be in phase two of its reopening from the COVID-19 lockdown, with more services opening up by the week.

For schools, that means some in-person instruction can begin, but distance learning remains the norm. Reduced capacity, in-person education is expected to take place in phase three.

On Friday, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli announced rules for opening up long-term care facilities for loved ones to begin visitations.

Visits will be by appointment only, and must take place outside. All guests will be screened before meeting their loved ones. Both patients and visitors will have to wear face masks and will have to remain six feet apart. Only two guests will be allowed at a time. And guests will be screened in a designated area before meeting up with a loved one who will be brought out by a staff member.

Beginning tomorrow, Monday, June 22, residents can also begin to lose the shaggy quarantine look: beauty salons and barbershops are open, as well as cosmetology shops; barber shops;  hair braiding shops; nail salons; electrology facilities; spas, including day spas and medical spas, at which solely elective and cosmetic medical procedures are performed; massage parlors; tanning salons; and tattoo parlors.

Walk-in appoints will not be permitted, however: like other services in New Jersey, patrons can visit by appointment only. Other safeguards include temperature checks prior to entry, use of personal protection at all times, and six-foot barriers between staff-client pairs.


Both Watchung Booksellers and the Montclair Public Library have begun opening up to book readers.

Watchung Booksellers is open for browsing, by appointment. The Montclair Public Library asks patrons to reserve a book or other item through BCCLS, or by calling in a reservation. Patrons will then be contacted to make an appointment to pick up their items.

The library has also begun accepting returns, and no longer charges late fees. Books may be dropped off on a bin in front of the library's main building, 50 South Fullerton Ave.

Interior stores in shopping malls are set to reopen later this month, though without food courts, theaters or arcades.


With many residents still out of work and in need, New Jersey continues to hold food drives and other efforts to mitigate the harm COVID-19 has caused to many people.

Essex County will hold a food distribution event on Thursday, June 25, at James Caldwell High School, 265 Westville Ave. in West Caldwell, at 10 a.m.

The food distribution event will be held rain or shine. A total of 1,000 boxes of food will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. To attend:

  • Enter the campus on Woodmere Road via Lane Avenue.
  • Cars should line up along Lane Avenue before turning right on Woodmere Road.
  • No Left Turns allowed into the campus from Lane Avenue
  • No arrivals before 8:00 a.m.
  • Drivers must keep their windows rolled up and open their trunk.
  • Buses and walk-ups cannot be served.


The numbers overall appear to continue to decline. Both new cases and deaths are up from yesterday, but down from Friday, as the curve continues to head downwards.

On Sunday, June 21, the COVID-19 New Jersey dashboard reports 308 new cases since Saturday, and only 13 deaths. The state's totals as of Sunday are 169,142 cases and 12,870 deaths.

The number of new cases is up from a week ago Sunday, when the state reported 196 cases, but the Sunday death toll declined from 36 on June 14.

The Montclair Health Department reported one new case on Sunday, bringing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the township to 436. The number of individuals who have not survived the illness remains 50.

Essex County continues to have the highest number of deaths in New Jersey, with 1,760, and the third-highest number of cases, with 18,551, following Hudson County (18,744) and Bergen County (19,010).

As of Friday, the most recent day that transmission and positivity rates were available, the virus transmission rate was 0.70, and the positivity rate was 2.47 percent.

Hospitalizations continue to drop: New Jersey reports 1,105 patients, 20 fewer than reported Friday night, and a small decrease pf eight in patients in critical care, for a total of 278. The number of patients on ventilators has also decreased, with 219, a decrease of 12 from the number reported Thursday. Hospitals sent home 129 patients, 21 more than the day before.

On Sunday, Essex County officials reported a total of 18,582 cases, an increase of 51 from the number reported on Saturday, June 20. The number of new deaths for Sunday has not yet been listed.



Essex County Coronavirus Cases

Updated: Sunday, June 21, 2020

Cumulative Confirmed COVID-19 Cases and Deaths                                        Essex County, NJ
Municipality6/20/20 5pm6/21/20 9amDeaths 6/20/20 am
Cedar Grove465461108
East Orange1,9281,937209
Essex Fells22232
Glen Ridge40408
North Caldwell42414
South Orange96984
West Caldwell26226444
West Orange1,2321,235171
Total 18,53118,5821,762
Negative tests (County)67,80868,474
Statewide positive168,834
Statewide deaths12,857


  • Social distancing, hand hygiene, and other steps to prevent infection must be followed at all times in all municipalities regardless of the number of cases.
  • The number of infected individuals in any municipality is likely to be much greater than indicated as this data ONLY includes persons who have been tested and whose lab results have been reported in the State’s data system.
  • This data will not match any other report since cases are continually entering the system and local health departments may reassign place of residence as appropriate during their investigations.