Montclair has ceased posting its COVID-19 cases and fatalities to its website and social media.

The township’s last posting was on Friday, March 4, when cases rose by three, reflecting a total of 6,025 cases and 79 deaths since the pandemic hit in March 2020. Numbers were first posted on March 13, 2020, with Montclair's first two cases.

Communication Director Katya Wowk said the township stopped the postings because on Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy lifted the COVID-19 public health emergency. New Jersey remains under a separate state of emergency declaration for the coronavirus pandemic.

“The township health officer, therefore, made the decision to discontinue posting case numbers,” Wowk said.

Friday was also the last day Murphy held his regularly scheduled COVID briefings. 

According to a spreadsheet tracking Montclair’s cases, maintained by Montclair resident Michael Schreiber and others using the township’s figures, as of March 4 the seven-day rolling average for new cases was 3.71. The highest seven-day average was reported on Jan. 4, at 143.43 cases.

The single day with the most new recorded cases was Dec. 29, at 215, though that figure followed several days of much lower numbers. Figures for any single day can vary significantly because of testing center schedules, holidays, processing time or other factors.

The Montclair Health Department will continue to track case numbers, Wowk said.

Montclair Local will continue to post case figures at its own online tracker, MontclairLocal.news/coronavirus. Beginning with the afternoon of March 8, figures for Montclair will be based on county-reported statistics.

On Feb. 28, a township-wide mask requirement for all public places, implemented in December, was lifted. The mandate had first been set to expire on Jan. 21 and then extended to the end of March before council members lifted it, citing declining coronavirus cases in Montclair and the region.

On Monday, March 7, New Jersey’s statewide mask requirement for students and teachers in schools was lifted; Montclair public schools lifted their own mandate that day as well. 

The same day, the district’s COVID dashboard reported two new cases among students and none among staff, though the district hasn’t conducted in-class testing yet this calendar year, after a contract with its provider was allowed to expire in December. The district this month has newly authorized a contract with another vendor, and expects to resume in-class testing soon. 

Essex County posts town-by-town figures at EssexCountyNJ.org, but they tend to lag behind figures collected by municipalities.

Essex County Public Information Director Anthony Puglisi said that the county will, for the foreseeable future, continue to send out the numbers.

— Jaimie Julia Winters

Montclair Local coronavirus tracker