WESTFIELD, NJ — The town has seen at least 18 new coronavirus cases over the course of the past four days, the mayor said Tuesday.
Mayor Shelley Brindle said the town received reports of the following positive COVID-19 tests: three on Saturday, five on Sunday, two on Monday and eight on Tuesday.
“I expect these numbers to increase significantly when the updated Health Department data, which includes rapid tests, becomes available,” Brindle said in her COVID-19 update at the Town Council meeting. “This may be delayed due to the holiday.”
Town Administrator Jim Gildea said that two town employees have also tested positive for coronavirus and six employees are quarantining as a result of potential exposures to the virus.
“We had nobody that’s been very ill, thankfully,” Gildea said. “So we’re going to continue to do what we’re doing: staggered shifts, working from home when we can.”
Westfield has reported 44 deaths from the virus, with the last death reported on Nov. 20 — the first such death since July, according to the town.
The local updates come amid a statewide rise in the spread of the virus with Union County reporting 420 new positive test results Tuesday, the second highest across New Jersey, according to the state Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard.
With Thanksgiving on Thursday, state and local officials continue to remind the public to practice social distancing. Gov. Phil Murphy last week reduced the limit on indoor gatherings to 10 people and a 150-person limit on outdoor gatherings took effect on Monday.
“I presume your Thanksgiving gathering will be smaller than usual this year, much like mine is going to be,” Brindle said. “It’s just one more sacrifice we all must continue to make to keep everyone safe, especially as COVID cases continue to surge.”
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