Westfield Mayor Breaks Down New Coronavirus Case Count

Westfield Mayor Breaks Down New Coronavirus Case Count

  • November 9, 2020
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WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle said Friday night that Westfield had confirmed eight new coronavirus cases among residents in town since her last update a week earlier, but that there were 28 cases under investigation by the local Health Department that hadn’t been officially confirmed by the state yet.

She explained, “From Oct. 30 through Nov. 5, there were eight cases of covid-19 reported in Westfield in our official case count. However, the total number of cases received by the Health Department for investigation over the same time period was 28. As a reminder, this disparity is primarily due to the fact that rapid tests results are not able to be reported through the state system, so are not reflected in the numbers reported to our police chief, which is what I receive. Our Regional Health Department receives rapid test results from local health providers, which is why their numbers are higher.”

She said the ages of the 28 cases reported to the local Health Department were: 5, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16 (two cases), 24, 27, 34, 36, 39, 41, 43 (two cases), 45 (two cases), 46, 47, 51, 58 (three cases), 61, 65, 67 (two cases), and 83.

Of these cases:

  • Seven had a known exposure

  • Five were school-aged children (three of which were associated with high school sports)

  • Five remain under investigation

  • Five were associated with household contacts

  • Two were unable to be reached

  • Two had no known exposure

  • One was associated with travel

  • One was uncooperative

Regional Health Officer Megan Avallone said the total number of Westfield High School cases was higher through self-reporting to the Westfield Public Schools, but only five had been officially reported via lab results to the town’s Health Department.

The number of coronavirus fatalities among town residents remains at 43 since the most recent death on June 3.

Westfield High stays remote

Meanwhile, on Sunday afternoon, two weeks after Westfield High School announced it would go all-remote for 14 days, Superintendent Margaret Dolan announced that because at least 23 students have tested positive for coronavirus, the school will remain remote through at least Thanksgiving weekend, ending Nov. 30.

Other Westfield public schools will remain open as scheduled.

More than 225,000 Americans and 14,500 people in New Jersey have died from the virus. At the height of the crisis in New Jersey on April 30, 460 people passed away in 24 hours.

Here are some other recent Westfield coronavirus and reopening updates:

SCHOOLS

Westfield High School has gone remote twice over coronavirus cases.

On Sunday, Nov. 8, the superintendent of schools announced it would stay remote through Thanksgiving weekend.

HOW TO GET TESTED

  • Union County has added mobile walk up test sites in addition to the testing site located at Kean University. Testing is free for Union County residents and is by appointment only with no car required; participants must wear masks and observe social distance. Any Union County resident can make an appointment for a test, whether they have symptoms. To pick a location, date and time, and to make an appointment online, visit ucnj.org/coronavirus-update/walk-up.

  • Union County residents who need to make an appointment by phone can call 908-518-4307 for assistance. Non-profit organizations and other community groups can call the Union County Office of Emergency Management at 908-654-9881 to request a visit from the Mobile Test Unit.

ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT/DINING

NATIONAL TRENDS

HOW TO GET HELP WITH HEAT, RENT, AND MORE

  • During the State of Emergency in New Jersey, no tenant is permitted to be evicted from their home or apartment for the inability to pay rent. Talk to your local mayor’s office if you are experiencing difficulties.

  • The CARES act has made money available to help with rent in each city. More information is here.

  • New Jersey residents can get help with heating and energy bills. Information is here.

  • Various other avenues of relief and benefits have also been made available, including family leave for 12 weeks if you can’t work due to your child’s school or camp being closed, and changes to unemployment rules to help those who were at a job for a short time, or freelancing.

LONG-TERM CARE

  • Recently, there were 159 long term care facilities with active outbreaks, the state Department of Health said last month. The state announced that deaths at the facilities had more than doubled since May 1.

  • New Jersey residents became alarmed at the high number of residents who have passed away in nursing homes, rehabs, and similar facilities. The state announced plans in May to increase testing at some long term care facilities.

  • The state released death toll statistics in spring for long-term care facilities like rehabs and nursing homes. See the list here.

  • You can report problems with long term care facilities here, or if you suspect coronavirus related misconduct, here.

  • Some New Jersey long-term care facilities reopened for limited visits, with precautions, in July.

Here are statewide coronavirus resources:

  • NJ COVID-19 Information Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/

  • General COVID-19 questions: 2-1-1

  • NJ COVID-19 hotline: (800) 222-1222

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This article originally appeared on the Westfield Patch

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