COVID-19: Essex County up to seven cases
BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
New Jersey identified 19 more positive tests for COVID-19 on March 14, bringing the state’s total to 69 cases.
Essex County now has seven reported cases. Three cases are known to be from Montclair, and one has been reported in Millburn. On Saturday, a couple from Bloomfield was reported as that town’s first two cases, according to township officials there.
Yesterday, the state saw 21 new cases. The cases range in ages from 18 to 80, according state officials at today’s COVID-19 debriefing.
Bergen County has the highest number of cases with 25 cases, according to the New Jersey Department of Health. However, at 12 p.m. today, Bergen County was reporting a total of 31 cases on its website.
Regarding the other cases, there are now 10 in Middlesex County; eight in Monmouth County; five in Hudson County; three each in Burlington and Morris counties; two each in Camden and Passaic counties; and one each in Ocean, Somerset and Union counties. The NJDOH has not broken down each case by town.
Ninety-seven tests have come back negative, officials said.
But with commercial labs now doing the testing, the numbers are ever-changing. The labs are supposed to report to local health departments and the doctor who ordered the test, which is supposed to be reported to the state, said officials.
READ: How local businesses are affected by COVID-19
In Montclair on Friday, closures of Montclair institutions, including the Montclair Public Library, the Montclair Art Museum and the YMCA of Montclair were announced. The schools will be closed starting Monday. See our hub page for the updated list of closures.
Municipal court sessions across the state and In Montclair have been suspended for two weeks, beginning Monday, March 16. For the two-week period from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27, individuals scheduled to appear before a Municipal Court to contest a traffic or parking ticket, or minor local ordinance violation, should instead await notice of a new court date.
Municipal courts will continue to handle certain matters, such as applications for temporary restraining orders, hearings where a defendant has been detained, and matters that implicate public safety. Attorneys and parties required to appear between March 16 and March 27 will be notified of that requirement.
Public meetings in some towns are being kept to emergency agenda items only such as payment of bills. Some town halls are open by appointment only. Montclair’s Communications Director Katya Wowk said Montclair has not changed its meeting schedules or how town hall operates.
In Bergen County, all public schools, movie theaters and American Dream Mall have closed. Bergen County is expected to get the state's first coronavirus testing/collection facility at Bergen Community College. Details on who will get tested and the process is still a work in progress, said NJDOH Commissioner Judith Persichilli. Gov. Phil Murphy said that priority will be placed on health care workers and those over the age 60 who are symptomatic.
State officials advise businesses and employees to telecommute, if possible. If that is not possible, the governor recommends businesses stagger work schedules and cancel all meetings. The governor said the 250-person limit is not a definitive one, as it pertains to the suspension of gatherings. He said that people are reminded to stay six feet apart, which would require many smaller gatherings to be canceled due to space.