MAPLEWOOD/SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — As the COVID-19 curve continues to go up in the nation and the state, the uptick is mirrored locally, as well. 

At last night’s South Orange Board of Trustees meeting, Health Officer John Festa gave his report about the Village’s numbers. He relayed that “we're sitting at 163 [positive] cases, [and] 4,505 negative cases” in South Orange. He noted the “cases break down to 91 males and 72 females. And luckily, we haven't changed on our deaths; we are still sitting at five, unfortunately.”

Board of Health President Donna Collier also reminded residents to get their flu shot as soon as possible. “They are important this year because we don't want to have what is being termed a twin-demic, which will be a resurgence of COVID at the same time that we're having issues with the flu.”

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Village Administrator Adam Loehner answered a question about Seton Hall University’s COVID numbers asked during the public comment portion of the streaming meeting. 

“There is no reason to be alarmed at this point,” said Loehner about the clusters of cases confirmed at the university in the past week. “The university did the appropriate testing, and protocols were put into place to quarantine and isolate and protect the rest of the population on campus.” 

He also said the Village has communicated with the administration. “We actually had a very good meeting today with everybody to discuss what we're seeing and that uptick numbers. But as things go, they are staying on top of things. These were clusters, and the majority of the cases at Seton Hall are the clusters, and they're managing appropriately.”

In neighboring Maplewood, Mayor Frank McGehee sent out a town wide email update on the same topic. 

He reported that the Township has had 33 new cases of COVID-19 so far in October. Of those, 30% of new cases are between 13-19 years old. The cumulative numbers stand at 27 total deaths and 402 total cases.  

“Unfortunately we have learned that there is a delay in lab data entry of positive COVID cases, especially rapid antigen results, statewide,” said McGehee. Therefore, he advised that “if you receive a positive test result and have not heard from the Maplewood Public Health Division, please contact us at 973-762-8120 so that we can advise you on isolation, quarantine and contact tracing.”

For those in South Orange, their Department of Health can be reached at 973-378-7715, ext. 7710.



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