NEWARK, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph DiVicenzo, Jr. has asked the state to provide mobile testing for the coronavirus following an overnight surge in the county’s confirmed positives, one of which was found in Newark.
Taking to the podium at Mayor Ras Baraka’s Sunday afternoon press conference, DiVicenzo said that of the 11 positives throughout the county, two are in Nutley, one in Maplewood, two in Bloomfield, two from Milburn, three from Montclair and now one from Newark. The Newark patient is a male in his 50s who is currently self-quarantined and asymptomatic.
The cases more than doubled overnight, he said, prompting him to request that the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Judith Persichilli, supply two mobile testing units for Newark and West Essex.
The commissioner’s office could not be reached for comment.
“The numbers from yesterday and today have doubled, and there’s no question that they’re going to get higher and higher especially in the next two weeks,” DiVicenzo added. “We’re never going to get a handle on this until we know exactly how many people are actually positive. The thing that scared me the most yesterday is that you could be tested and come out negative, and then two days later come out positive. I’m urging the state to work with us.”
Bergen County, where more 30 cases of the virus have been confirmed, has also requested mobile testing as the outlook worsens for across the state. On Sunday, the New Jersey Department of Public Health recorded 98 total cases and two deaths as a result of the coronavirus.
Both the Newark and Essex County have ordered relief for citizens, with Baraka signing legislation that places a moratorium on rent evictions and extends the due date for payments and fees for a 60-day period. The county has suspended foreclosures, evictions and sheriff's sales until the crisis has dissipated.
Editor's Note: Following press conference, DiVincenzo issued the following statement: “Information about the spread of COVID-19 is ever evolving and changing. The cases in Nutley that were shared earlier were presumed cases and are not confirmed at this time."