WESTFIELD, NJ — The mayor on Tuesday reported what she described as a concerning uptick in coronavirus cases — 11 town residents testing positive for COVID-19 over the past four days — results that come amid a statewide increase in transmission of the virus.

Mayor Shelley Brindle said the town learned of three positive COVID-19 tests each on Saturday and Sunday, one positive test result on Monday and four positive test results Tuesday.

“Our recent four-day uptick in COVID cases is a worrisome trend and consistent with what we’re seeing across the state,” Brindle said in her coronavirus update. “Many cases seem to be the result of small family and social gatherings where people have let their guard down.”

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She asked the public to continue to exercise caution. “We all know what we need to do: wash our hands, wear a face covering, and stay 6 feet apart. Thank you in advance for your ongoing commitment,” Brindle said.

The new cases bring the number of positive test results of Westfield residents to 414 since the town’s first reported case in March, she said.

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The Tuesday evening update did not provide additional specifics about the 11 new cases. However, the town’s public information officer said that information would be forthcoming in an update from the mayor Friday.

“This is information that goes out each Friday from the mayor, following a weekly summary she receives from the Health Department,” said the spokeswoman, Kim Forde.

Brindle noted that Union County on Tuesday reported the highest number of new coronavirus cases statewide with 132 new positive test results, bringing the county’s total count of coronavirus cases to 18,949, according to the state Health Department’s data dashboard. New Jersey's rate of transmission on Tuesday stood at 1.13, the state data show.

The virus has killed at least 41 people from Westfield. The town has not reported a COVID-19 death since late in May. Countywide, the state Health Department has reported 1,197 “confirmed” deaths and 167 “probable” deaths from COVID-19.

Statewide, that figure stands at 14,438 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 1,789 probable COVID-19 deaths, according to the state Health Department.

The rise in coronavirus cases comes on the cusp of the influenza season and with the Westfield Regional Health Department encouraging residents to get vaccinated for the flu before Halloween.

“In addition to free flu shots provided by the Health Department, Union County will also be offering a flu clinic on Oct. 29 at the County Public Safety Complex (300 North Avenue East) by appointment,” Brindle said.

Click here for more upcoming flu shot drives being offered countywide.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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