WESTFIELD, NJ — An additional 12 coronavirus cases reported on Tuesday have brought the total number of town residents who have been infected with the virus to 325, the mayor said.

The new cases, Mayor Shelley Brindle said in her COVID-19 update, are concentrated among people under age 25.

“Some are attributed to July 4th parties, while others stem from group house rentals as well as recent travel to out-of-state hot spots,” Brindle said. “That being said, I want to reiterate that this spike in cases should not be an impetus for public shaming.”

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She said that young people have been getting tested and reaching out to let others know of the positive results.

“I learned that yesterday the Kean testing center tested about 120 Westfield residents, whereas on days just prior they tested about 20,” Brindle said. “So thank you for taking action.”

The recent rise in cases had been preceded by a nearly two-week period with no new cases, she noted. Since June 30, Brindle said, the town reported 43 new cases.

Brindle also reported the COVID-19 death of an 82-year-old Westfield man associated with a long-term care facility.

“This death occurred back in May but was only now reported to us due to an error in the lab’s system,” she said. “Regardless of the timing, let’s remember that this is another life tragically lost as we keep this resident and his family in our thoughts.”

Addressing the Town Council, Westfield Regional Health Department Officer Megan Avallone said the recent cases mark the largest uptick the regional department has seen in the people ages 17-23 contracting the virus.

Avallone said the parties at which many of the new cases have been traced to were mostly held outside.

“I know summer is so much fun, and we all want to be with the ones we love,” Avallone said. “No activity comes without risk.”

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

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