MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Saturday morning Mayor Frank McGehee issued the following update regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus
On the evening of Thursday March 12th, over eight weeks ago, we declared a state of emergency in the Township of Maplewood - a lot has happened since then.
Our children walked the halls of their schools for the last time on March 13th. Our jitney service was discontinued and is still suspended to this day. For some of us, our homes became our offices and schools. Restaurants changed their operations to take out or delivery only. Our playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts and paddle ball courts were all closed. Our annual garden sale happened online and numerous annual events were canceled or postponed indefinitely. There have been daily updates at the local and state level and many have been sick regardless of testing validation. We know that our positive case numbers do not reflect the actual number of residents who have been impacted and several have unfortunately lost their battles.
While our community has certainly been challenged, this pandemic has also brought out the best in our community. So many individuals from all walks of life have stepped up to provide food, services, financial contributions, face masks, shields, time, music and entertainment, and prayers with the shared goal of making a positive impact. I want to thank the public for following the direction and the guidance of our Health Division. As a result we have seen a reduction in cases in our community.
I also want to thank our Maplewood Township first responders - our Health Division, our Police Department, our Department of Public Works, our Fire Department, and town staff for being the essential workers that we needed, for not calling out sick and for keeping our town running. Thank you.
However, we are not out of the woods yet by any stretch. This week our community lost three more members. They were 93, 66 and 45 years of age. Please keep the family and all the families in your prayers.
As we enter the next phase of this pandemic which is moving away from the mitigation stage to reopening our community, we need to continue to work together and be thoughtful in this process. Governor Murphy said we are guided by public health not by emotion and I agree.
The Township’s Office of Emergency Management team has been meeting with the focus on our reopening plans for our community. In the coming weeks, we will provide announcements regarding our parks, recreational programs, our business districts and summer events. Please stay tuned.
Our Public Health Division wants everyone to know that when you are out in a public space from sitting on a bench to waiting for a food order, continue to stand six feet (two arm widths) apart from non-family members and people who do not live in your household. And wear a face mask when it is difficult to maintain a six-foot distance from others.
We are healthier together by staying apart.
Our Maplewood Public Health Division numbers: Tuesday 5/5 through Friday 5/8:
As I mentioned above, this week our community lost three more members. They were 93, 66 and 45 years of age. Please keep the family and all the families in your prayers.
This brings our total lost lives in Maplewood to 23 (net +3)
Please note: a previously reported death last week of a 65 year old was deemed not a Maplewood resident by the county and was removed from our list initially reducing our count to 20.
Total Cases: 266 (+3, ages 43, 45, and 57)
PROBABLE CASES: 4, ages 50 to 59
Probable cases is a new classification that the state of New Jersey is using for people that show symptoms related to COVID19 and are linked or have had close contact to a confirmed case but have not received a confirmed lab result. We believe that we will see a lot more probable cases as state restrictions are lifted.
Total recovered cases: 140 (+20)
Positive test rate: 36% (-2%)
NJ Statewide confirmed cases: 135,454
Essex County confirmed cases: 15,256 (3rd highest county in NJ)
Essex County confirmed deaths: 1,398 (highest county in NJ)
State aggregate data resources:
https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml. click under “daily case summary updates.”
https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml Click the Demographics tab.
The Maplewood COVID-19 website https://www.twp.maplewood.nj.us/covid19 QUICK LINKS section in the lower left corner has been updated to include information and resources regarding plasma donation, the community coalition on race booklet previously communicated,instructions for people who test positive, and information on a virtual bereavement support group for COVID losses.
For COVID-19 questions, please call 2-1-1 or our Public Health Division at (973) 762-8120.