COVID-19: New Jersey opens doors in Stage 2
By GWEN OREL
As COVID-19 cases in California, Texas and Florida have surged, and caused some renewed restrictions on openings in those states, New Jersey continued Stage 2 of its recovery this week.
However, New Jersey has joined New York and Connecticut in mandating a 14-day quarantine for travelers visiting or returning from states where COVID-19 numbers have climbed, and are therefore not yet in Stage 2. Specific restrictions include states that have shown a 10 percent positive rate in daily tests, or in states where 10 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 for every 100,000 residents during a seven-day rolling average. As of Friday, eight states meet those requirements: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.
The Motor Vehicle Commission announced Friday that most in-person transactions scheduled to start on June 29 will be delayed until July 7, while the text notification system undergoes final testing.
Activities that will be allowed during Stage 2 of the recovery include indoor dining and recreational facilities, which will open on July 2, many at 25 percent capacity. Some portions of indoor malls will open tomorrow, Monday, June 29.
Hairdressers and other businesses opened as part of Stage 2 last week, with limitations on how many people can attend.
State officials have released additional guidance for the upcoming re-opening of recreational and entertainment businesses. Libraries, museums, aquariums, private and social clubs may open as part of Stage 2, with capacity limited to 25 percent, subject to many of the same requirements for retail businesses.
Many businesses are opening by appointment only. Gyms are allowed to offer only individualized instruction. However, movie theaters, concert halls, indoor amusement parks and others are not included in Stage 2 moderate risk re-openings, and are not yet open.
Restrictions on indoor dining include tables set six feet apart, and patrons must wear a mask until seated.
On Friday, June 26, Gov, Phil Murphy and Department of Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet announced that New Jersey public schools will open for in-person instruction in some capacity at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. However, this plan is contingent on the spread of COVID-19 remaining contained.
Murphy and Repollet released “The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education” as a guide to reopening the schools in the fall. Schools had been closed for in-person instruction since March 18.
Each school district, working with community stakeholders, must make a plan to reopen that is available to the public a month before school starts, Repollet said.
So long as districts comply with providing state-mandated 180 days of learning, they can delay opening. Because schools might need to close again if the COVID-19 numbers increase, school districts should now be working to make sure every student has a device for work on the internet, and connectivity.
Essex County residents can get tested at three satellite testing locations this week:
- Verona Community Center, 880 Bloomfield Ave., Verona, Tuesday, June 30 from 4 to 6 p.m.
- St. Philomena’s Church, 386 South Livingston Ave., Livingston, Wednesday, July 1 from 4 to 6 p.m.
- Millburn/Short Hills First Aid Squad/Commuter Parking Lot, 188 Glen Ave. Millburn, Thursday, July 2 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Residents taking the saliva test should not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum 30 minutes prior to arrival.
Nasal swab tests continue to be offered at the Weequahic Park testing site every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The test is drive-through only, and appointments are required. To make an appointment, visit EssexCOVID.org or call 973-324-9950.
The number of cases in New Jersey on Sunday, according to the COVID-19 dashboard, is 171,182, up 309 from Saturday. That increase represents a slight bump in new cases from yesterday's 289, but still much less than the 524 reported Friday.
Essex County continues to have the highest number of deaths, with 1,784 confirmed and 234 probable deaths. Essex County has the third-highest number of cases, following Hudson County and Bergen County.
The positivity rate and virus transmission rate were 2.1 percent and 0.86, respectively, on Friday. Data for positivity rate and virus transmission rate were unavailable on the weekend.
On Saturday evening, according to the COVID-19 dashboard, hospitals reported 187 people on ventilators, a decrease of 13 from the 200 reported the day before. There are 223 people in intensive case, four less than there were on Friday. In total, the state reports that there are 1,014 people in the hospital. Excluding deaths, hospitals discharged 124 people.
On Sunday, Essex County officials reported 14 new cases, less than the 22 reported Saturday, for a total of 18,695. The death count is listed as 1,775, up from yesterday's revised count of 1,771.
Montclair Health Department officials report that as of Sunday, the confirmed number of COVID-19 cases in Montclair remains at 443; the number of individuals who did not survive the illness increased from 51 to 52.
Data for the week is available here.
Essex County Coronavirus Cases
Updated: Sunday, June 28, 2020
|Cumulative Confirmed COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Essex County, NJ|
|Municipality||6/27/20 12pm||6/28/20 12pm||Deaths 6/28/20|
|Negative tests (County)||78,383||79,722|
- 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.