WESTFIELD, NJ — As she reported three new COVID-19 cases Sunday, including two people between the age of 20 and 22, the mayor asked members of the public to take personal responsibility for containing the virus.

Mayor Shelley Brindle said she had heard from “numerous residents” that people returning from hot spot states are not quarantining in spite of Gov. Phil Murphy’s directive to do so.

“I want to implore everyone that this is not a time to assign blame or public shame, but rather take personal responsibility,” Brindle said in her COVID-19 update. “We are still in the middle of a pandemic as evidenced by what is happening in other states.”

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The third person from Westfield to test positive for COVID-19 Sunday is 50 years old, Brindle said. She added that the figures may be underreported as the state lab slows down on the weekends.

“We fully expect to see additional cases this week as we manage this recent outbreak,” Brindle said in her update posted to social media.

She asked people who have tested positive for COVID-19 not to wait to reach out to people who they may have been in close contact with and reminded the public that any information they provide public health officials is protected under federal law.

Sunday’s report follows a report the day prior of 11 new COVID-19 cases, including nine people between the age of 18 and 21, three of which were traced to attendance at parties. Seven new cases were reported in Westfield Friday. The 31 total cases reported so far this month follow two weeks with no new coronavirus cases reported in Westfield.

“If we’re frustrated that young adults are not behaving responsibly, then we have a responsibility as adults to model the appropriate behavior,” Brindle said. “This recent outbreak should wake us all up that the threat of this virus is still here, and it’s important to remain vigilant even as things have begun to open up.”

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

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