PLAINFIELD, NJ — In Mayor Adrian O. Mapp's online weekly update on Wednesday, he noted the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Plainfield has reached 1,490; he also announced there are new fatalities.  There was an additional data point in the usual reporting: there are 719 residents who have recovered from the coronavirus.

Those lost include seven residents: three Caucasian males, two Hispanic females, and a male and female. Of the 44 deaths to date, 34.1% are African American, 20.5% are of Spanish/Hispanic origin or descent, 18.2% are Caucasian, and 27.3% are unknown.

The Mayor clarified that the reports of those who have been lost do not mean that people are dying overnight.  "We share the numbers as we get them, but very often they are accumulated over a number of days before being passed on to our office." 

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According to State data, there are 141 positive cases, and 31 deaths at long term care facilities:

  • JFK Hartwyck at Cedar Brook: 52 cases, 5 deaths
  • AristaCare at Norwood: 38 cases, 10 deaths
  • The Woodlands: 51 cases, 16 deaths

The Mayor added that as more testing takes place, the number of positive cases will rise. He said his office is actively investigating the current positive cases, as well the 2,084 individuals under self-quarantine.  "Right now, our priority is to ensure that we keep track of these residents as per guidelines to safeguard the public health" of all residents.

Mayor Mapp referred to Governor Phil Murphy's Executive Order 130 that was signed on Tuesday. The order authorizes, by resolution, municipalities to extend the grace period for May 1 property tax payments from 10 days until June 1, due to the "substantial economic disruption" the pandemic has caused. 

"This extension provides much-needed relief," Mayor Mapp said, "to homeowners struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic."  He added his administration has been seeking ways to ease the burden for homeowners.  "Allowing municipalities the option of extending the grace period for May property tax payments is the right thing to do."  He and the City Council, he noted, will formally extend the grace period in accordance with the Executive Order on Monday.

In contrast to Governor Murphy's Executive Order 133 that opens state parks, and a press release issued by Union County noting county parks will open, both effective May 2, city and school parks will remain closed, according to the Mayor.

RELATED: Union County Parks to Re-Open on Limited Basis with Social Distancing, May 2

"The answer is no. We are not comfortable with opening our parks at this time, simply because we still have concerns about social distancing, and given the fact that Plainfield's numbers in terms of positive cases are as high as they are, I don't believe that the time is right," he said.  "I think it would invite the assembling of people, and it would pose a risk to our population at large, and so, there is no plan in place right now for us at the municipal level to reopen our parks."  The Mayor said it will be addressed in the coming weeks.

If you missed the Q&A session, catch up here.


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