WEST ORANGE, NJ — After a week in which there were just 53 new COVID-19 cases in a seven-day period in West Orange, the number of new cases soared by 57 on Monday, bringing the total intake of coronavirus cases in the township to 1,234.
In a post on his Facebook page Monday morning, West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi attributed the one-day spike to "recent Public Health Directive 20-013 providing testing for all residents and staff members at 'licensed long-term care facilities, assisted living residences, comprehensive personal care homes, residential health care facilities and dementia care homes'."
Parisi said the directive "was a good step and necessary in order to confidently move toward lifting all restrictions."
But, the mayor acknowledged, "The downside to this is that the new testing confirmed that many asymptomatic residents were, in fact, infected with COVID-19."
Of the newly diagnosed positive cases Monday, 29 of them were older than 75. A bulk of the new cases came from the increased testing at licensed facilities, according to the mayor.
There were no additional COVID-19 related deaths reported in West Orange for the second consecutive day. The total of deaths attributed to the virus stands at 154. Fifteen township residents were currently hospitalized with the virus, three of whom were in intensive care units. There have been 1,707 tests in West Orange that came back negative for COVID-19.
In Essex County, there were 16,712 coronavirus cases as of Monday morning, an increase of 109 since late Sunday. There have been 1,550 deaths in the county attributed to COVID-19. In the county, 25,958 tests for the virus have come back negative.
New Jersey had a total of 148,039 COVID-19 cases Monday, an increase of 1,705 since Sunday. Perhaps owing to the same factor that contributed a jump in local cases in West Orange, the one-day increase was the biggest in the state in 10 days. However, Gov. Phil Murphy indicated at his press briefing on Monday that the number of people being treated for the virus and the number of new hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are both "down significantly."