WESTFIELD, NJ — Six months after New Jersey’s first reported COVID-19 case, and on the same day restaurants reopened for indoor dining at 25% capacity, the mayor reported four new coronavirus cases associated with the town in the past three days.

Two of the cases are college students who are out of state, Mayor Shelley Brindle said in her Friday COVID-19 update. It brings the total number of cases associated with Westfield to 368 since the town’s first reported case in March, Brindle said.

Brindle also detailed the known origins of the last 27 COVID-19 cases as determined through contact tracing.

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The breakdown is as follows, according to the mayor:

  • Seven people had a household contact who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Seven people had no known exposure to COVID-19.
  • Six people were not reached.
  • Three people declined to be interviewed.
  • Two people were associated with travel to a high-risk area.
  • One person had a known exposure.
  • One person’s case was associated with a long-term care center.

The detailed breakdown of contact tracing efforts comes amid challenges that both local and state officials have expressed in reaching people and gaining their cooperation for contact tracing.

Statewide, there were 193,422 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with another 307 under investigation, according to the state Health Department. The rate of transmission stood at 1.03 as of Friday night.

In Union County, there were 17,187 confirmed cases of the virus with the county reporting 22 new people with the virus Friday, figures from the state show. Click here to view the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Indoor dining restarted Friday at 25% capacity, along with performances at movie theaters and other indoor venues. Brindle advised the public to maintain social distancing and keep wearing masks in accordance with state guidelines.

“With the opening of indoor dining, let’s not get complacent about our COVID protocols and ensure that we continue to be diligent about wearing face coverings and social distancing,” Brindle said.

The update comes with schools’ reopening set for next week.

After remote learning for most of the spring semester during the last academic year, schools are anticipated to resume a combination of remote and in-person learning next Thursday.

“The Board of Health continues to work with the schools to provide guidance documents to help ensure a successful transition,” Brindle said.

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

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