WESTFIELD, NJ — A 94-year-old man from Westfield recently died from COVID-19 — a death that comes amid a significant rise in cases, the mayor said Tuesday.

Mayor Shelley Brindle reported the death — Westfield’s 45th by coronavirus — as part of an extensive update in which she said that local health officials had received 248 coronavirus cases in November, 65 of which the Westfield Regional Health Department learned of within the past seven days.

The monthly breakdown of COVID-19 cases, Brindle said, is as follows:

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  • 129 remain under investigation.
  • 37 were unable to be reached.
  • 25 had no known exposure.
  • 19 had a positive household contact.
  • 10 had a known exposure.
  • 9 were associated with youth sports.
  • 4 were exposed at work.
  • 4 were uncooperative.
  • 3 were travel associated.
  • 3 were college students (exposed at school).
  • 2 were exposed at a party.
  • 2 were hospitalized (ages 86 and 61).
  • 1 recently died (age 94).

While the Westfield Regional Health Department received 65 cases within the past seven days, the state’s COVID-19 reporting system only logged 15 cases since it does not include rapid tests.

“Going forward, I will only be reporting the Health Department’s weekly numbers, inclusive of rapid tests, as they are a more accurate reflection of community spread,” Brindle said.

While less sensitive than PCR tests, which the state uses for its daily COVID-19 counts, rapid tests — also called “rapid antigen tests” — can return results in about 15 minutes, the CDC says.

The report from Westfield came on the same day the state Health Department reported 90 new coronavirus deaths across New Jersey — the highest recorded figure since June. It brought to the total loss of life in New Jersey from COVID-19 to 15,254 people, Gov. Phil Murphy said.

“We need all hands on deck to beat back the second wave,” Murphy said on Twitter. “Mask up. Social distance. Wash your hands. Be smart.”

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

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