SOUTH ORANGE/MAPLEWOOD, NJ — In line with the state and the country, local COVID-19 cases have continued their frightening climb.

As of Jan. 8, South Orange's caseload was 474, with a seven-day average of 6.86 cases. In Maplewood, the cases stand at 784 as of Jan. 7, and Maplewood Health Officer Candice Davenport told TAPinto SOMA that “from Jan. 4 to Jan. 7 our daily average is 10.”

In her monthly report at the Township Committee meeting, Davenport added, “We also had an increase of one death in the New Year. So that brings our total of 29 unfortunate deaths due to COVID, starting this year. A that's a hard one.

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"So I just want to let everyone know that we are still fighting the good fight in terms of COVID, but it is taking a toll." With 156 cases in the month of December alone, she said, “we are staying in the high caseload range similar to what we're seeing statewide and nationwide as well.”

Davenport added that the mass vaccinations have started for health care providers and those who work or live in long term care facilities. “Maplewood and South Orange are slated to go to the Livingston Mall, which is at the Sears location. It's open six days a week, Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

New Jersey has its highest number of cases on Jan. 9 with 6,435 positive test cases in one day. Cumulatively, 528,054 New Jersey residents have tested positive for COVID-19 during the pandemic, and 17,827 people have died from it. 

Residents eligible for the vaccine may make an appointment through essexcovid.com. Those not eligible yet may pre-register at https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine. An email will be sent when you are able to receive the vaccine.

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TAPinto SOMA is a free online newspaper serving the Townships of Maplewood and South Orange Village with no paywall. TAPinto SOMA is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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