MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Although the township is averaging almost four new cases of COVID-19 a day currently, health officer Candice Davenport said she is encouraged that it is on a downward trend.

The township saw its first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, on March 17, 2020, “similar to when the county and the state marked their dates for when COVID cases started happening.” Throughout the year, she said, Maplewood has mimicked “Essex County's movement of COVID cases and the New Jersey state pattern.”

After early spikes and a lull in the summer, numbers spiked again in the fall and early winter. “Back in January, we were up to seven as a daily average,” Davenport said during her report to the Township Committee on March 2. “So we're moving in the right direction, and we just have to keep being vigilant and moving forward in this direction with increased testing and encouraging people to go get testing — and then making sure that people get appointments for the much desired vaccine.”

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Maplewood residents have received 2,939 first vaccine doses and 1,127 second doses as of March 2. Davenport noted these numbers only include those who got their inoculations from the Essex County vaccine centers, as numbers from private sources such as a drug store or a medical facility employer have not been released, if the information has indeed been tallied.

She also noted during her report that “mental health and addiction are huge issues that we're finding as…residue issues that are happening for COVID,” said Davenport, and the impact on Maplewood residents is strong. 

Davenport highlighted a new effort by Rutgers University behavioral health care, and a phone number to call to seek support. “If you are experiencing undue stress related to the spread of COVID, for whatever reason, and you need someone to talk to please utilize this phone number…. Mental health is important and should not be stigmatized, especially in our community and among women.”

 

Rutgers Covid Connect information:



 

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