SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Village President Sheena Collum has provided an update on the numbers of residents stricken with COVID-19, and local reminders about government dates to watch:

As of 7:00 p.m. tonight, 183 South Orange residents have received access to the limited available testing (e.g., they’ve exhibited the required fever and respiratory symptoms) and of that number, 75 have returned positive and 108 have returned negative. Two members of our community have passed away due to COVID-19 to date. Please continue to keep their families in your prayers.

By the Numbers: Impact of COVID-19 in South Orange

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Please note, due to the exceptional work of our Health Officer John Festa and Nurse Patricia Furci with contact tracing and jurisdiction verification, our local numbers remain the most accurate you will find at the time I provide these updates.

In Essex County, there are 11,912 positive cases and 954 reported deaths. In New Jersey, there are 99,989 positive cases and 5,368 reported deaths. Local testing sites are available here.

(New) South Orange Budget Overview

As I reported during our last Board of Trustees meeting, we have and are continuing to work on new budget projections based on this unanticipated and unprecedented public health crisis. We are anticipating a loss of revenue in the amount of $1.2-$1.5M with many moving variables that we are unable to predict at this time. The drivers of this revenue shortfall are due to a reduction in fines from our courts, uniform construction fees, interest on investments and deposits, fees and permits, and losses as it relates to spring and summer recreation programs. We are also projecting out various scenarios of losses in tax collection rates. We have fully evaluated and are prepared to make adjustments across the board including but not limited to: capital improvements, staffing, programs, and operating expenses. We will have a budget workshop to finalize details on Monday, April 27 with a budget introduction scheduled for Monday, May 11, 2020. The community is always welcome to join us. Details can be found on our Village calendar here.

Local Reminders

  • Property tax payments are still due on May 1; this is mandated at the state level.
  • Sewer payments are due May 1; the Board of Trustees has extended the payment date.
  • The Public Works yard and recycling center will remain closed to the public until future notice. This includes Container Day scheduled for Saturday, April 25; Electronic Waste scheduled for Saturday, May 2; and Container Day scheduled for Saturday, May 16.
  • South Orange parks are open for passive and no-contact recreation such as walking or jogging, doing some exercise by yourself or with your family. Please note that our police department is regularly monitoring our parks and any appearance of a gathering or overcrowding due to high demand will be dispersed. Playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts and fields remain closed.
  • The Governor’s Executive Order requires “customers to wear a face covering when entering any essential business open to the public, with limited exceptions” (e.g. health-related reasons and children under age 2). As you know, this is no longer optional. If you are not wearing a face covering, you can be denied service.
  • You must properly dispose of your gloves/masks in the trash, not our streets. Do not flush “disposable wipes.”
  • The physical operations of all non-essential construction projects ceased at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 10. For homeowners or renters, projects already underway with a construction crew of five or fewer individuals and involving individual single-family homes or an individual apartment unit where an individual already resides may continue.

In solidarity and safety,

Sheena Collum
Village President

PS: Check out this special message from our Columbia High School graduate who was nominated for 9 Grammy Awards SZA!


Correction: The number of COVID-19 cases in South Orange is 75; the original headline stated the total number of residents tested for COVID-19.

Read More: Maplewood Coronavirus Update

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