FANWOOD, NJ -- Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr on Monday announced that the borough now has 56 confirmed cases, including two more Chelsea residents who unfortunately have passed from COVID-19. Both individuals had underlying conditions. The current total in Union County is 9,972.

The Westfield Regional Health Department is in close contact with Chelsea's administrators throughout each day to ensure the health and safety of residents and staff.

"Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased and with the staff of the senior living facility," said Mayor Mahr in her daily enewsletter.

Sign Up for Scotch Plains/Fanwood Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Scotch Plains is monitoring the Coronavirus (Covid-19) developments in the township and the state and continues to provide video updates regularly. Over the weekend, there were 17 new cases of COVID in the township and the figure now stands at 173 overall, including a new case reported on Monday. Importantly, no new deaths have been reported, according to Mayor Al Smith and Deputy Manager Margaret Heisey's latest Facebook Live update.

Additionally, the township has launched a COVID-19 small business webpage dedicated to resources that business owners can utilize during this difficult time. 

Today, Governor Murphy reported another 3,528 confirmed COVID-positive test results, bringing the statewide total to 88,806. Hospitals are reporting 6,986 COVID-19 patients, of whom 2,018 are listed in critical or intensive care and 1,594 ventilators are in use. There are 74 coronavirus patients at field medical stations in the state. Sadly, the governor announced another 177 COVID-19 related deaths in the state, which brings New Jersey's total to 4,377 individuals.

"For the 24-hour reporting period, there have been 583, happily, folks who are discharged," Gov. Murphy said at his daily press conference. "We are seeing relative stability in the number of patients in critical or intensive care, whereas hospitalizations have begun to show more of a downward trend."

In a couple of days, I will lay out the blueprint for our way forward for opening our state. But we cannot get to that point if you stop doing the things you're doing. This is no time to let up. If anything, it's time to bear down as we've never, ever done before. - Gov. Phil Murphy

"Our driving purpose, has been to save lives, period," said Gov. Murphy. "Every step we have taken from closing our schools to closing non-essential businesses and work sites, to requiring you all and us to wear a face covering at the supermarket and elsewhere, and everything else, has been made with a singular goal in mind. That is our mission: to save lives."

Of the deaths that we are able to investigate, 43% are female, 57% are male; 50.5% are White, 21.8% are Black, 16.6% are Hispanic, 5.7% Asian, and 5.4% other. As reported previously, 60.7% have an underlying cardiovascular condition, 39.3% diabetes mellitus, 30.2% other chronic diseases, 19.8% chronic lung disease, asthma, emphysema, COPD, 15.8% chronic renal disease 15.2% % neurological disability, 13.7% other, and 11% cancer... Overall, in our mortalities, 40% are associated with long-term care facilities. - NJ State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli

"My job, our collective job, is to protect the 9 million residents of our state as best as possible. For that, I will not apologize. In the coming days, I will announce the benchmarks we will need to see and the principles which we will follow to reopen our state and begin our reemergence from this pandemic," Gov. Murphy said. "However, do not think for one minute that we're going to be able to flip a switch and return to life as we know it. We will be careful, and we will be strategic. We will continue to ask for you to play your part, and you've done an extraordinary job."

The governor said that he will make decisions based on facts and medical science, so we do not experience or exacerbate a second boomerang wave. ("It is a real possibility with a virus like this, even if we do everything exactly right," he said.)  Gov. Murphy also celebrated the recovery of 26-year-old former college lacrosse player Jack Allard, who was placed in a medically induced coma to save his life. Allard was "clapped out" of the hospital last Thursday, according to the governor.

I know many of you are worried about the small businesses in your community, as am I. Reopening our economy today would backfire on us in two respects: a large spike in COVID-19 cases, and no customers at our stores because people are still fearful for their health and that of their kids and families. 

This is a two-part scenario. Securing the public health situation so that you can have confidence as you get back, as we reopen our economy. Right now, that confidence does not exist. And we will align ourselves with our region to ensure that as one of us begins to reopen, we don't inadvertently expose each other to more cases of COVID-19.

Gov. Murphy also announced that the state has now added data from long-term care facilities to its online data dashboard at Covid19.nj.gov. It includes a comprehensive list of every long-term care facility in our state that has reported a case of COVID-19 among its residents, both by name and location.

Check with TAPintoSPF for continuous LOCAL Coronavirus news. Sign up for our free eNewsletter for breaking updates. TAPintoSPF.net is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. “Like” us on Facebook and Twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.