LIVINGSTON, NJ — Despite seeing a continued increase in COVID-19 cases as well as deaths related to the novel coronavirus, Livingston’s governing body addressed the encouraging decrease recently seen in the five-day new case average over the last week.

Speaking on behalf of the Livingston Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Livingston Health Department during Monday’s virtual township council meeting, Livingston Township Manager Barry Lewis announced that the average age of COVID-19-related deaths within the township has increased to 86.1 years old and that the majority of recent deaths have been residents of long-term care facilities.

On a brighter note, however, Lewis reported that the rate of increase has slowed significantly in Livingston since the beginning of the month.

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“Our five-day running average of new cases had peaked on April 7 at about 18 cases per day,” he said. “But for the last 11 days, our new case totals have been in the single digits, and the five-day new case average has only been about five or six, so that’s encouraging news. We’re down to below a third of how many new cases we were getting.”

According to the latest report from Essex County, Livingston has a total to 393 cases and 47 deaths related to COVID-19 within the township. Since last Monday, April 20, there have been 47 new cases of the coronavirus reported in Livingston, which indicates a significant falloff in the rate of new cases compared to earlier this month.

During Monday’s meeting, Lewis also spoke on behalf of the Livingston Police Department, reporting that the entire police staff remains healthy and continues to report for duty every day to keep the township residents safe. He also said there have been no major issues with crime or large gatherings in recent weeks.

Additionally, Lewis expressed gratitude on behalf of all Livingston personnel for the recent donations from community members to keep the township stocked with personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition to keeping first responders and essential workers safe during this time, the consistent supply of PPE donations have also been distributed to long-term care and healthcare facilities within the township to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

As of 9 a.m. on Tuesday, there were 13,296 cases and 1,096 deaths associated with COVID-19 in Essex County. A total of 11,473 tests in the county have come back negative.

The New Jersey Department of Health also reported a total of 113,856 cases of COVID-19 within the state on Tuesday, indicating a statewide increase of 2,668 from Monday. However, the two-day total of 4,814 new cases is substantially lower than any two-day growth rate in the state in several weeks.

Comparatively, there was a combined total of 7,086 new cases on Monday and Tuesday of last week.