WESTFIELD, NJ — This weekend the town intends to open parks to vehicular traffic along with the tennis courts in those parks, the mayor said.
Mayor Shelley Brindle said the town would announce more details about the anticipated openings later this week.
“We are aiming to have protocols finalized for the full council to review by tomorrow, in anticipation of opening by this weekend along with the parks’ parking lots,” Brindle said at Tuesday’s virtual council session. “We are striving to ensure safety and adherence to social distancing, with details coming later in the week.”
She said that the courts would be open for “limited play.” And while she thanked community members for their social distancing efforts, Brindle also expressed concern.
“The concern is that when you open the door a little bit people just run right through it,” Brindle said. “And I think we’re all going to have to exercise a little bit of restraint.”
The number of COVID-19 cases in Westfield rose to 253 on Tuesday, with Brindle reporting two more cases, one of which she said is over 30 days old.
Brindle said just 15% of the total COVID-19 cases are at long-term care facilities.
In Westfield, 97% of fatalities from COVID-19 have been from residents 60 and older, with over half of the 35 Westfield fatalities associated with long-term care facilities.
Brindle also reported that Overlook Medical Center in Summit as of Monday had just 77 COVID-19 hospitalizations, reduced from a peak of 311 on April 10.
The mayor, however, warned of the possibility of more cases to come.
“There is no doubt that we are going to see some type of second wave,” Brindle said. “We just want to make sure that we have the ability and the capacity to contain it.”
Email Matt Kadosh at email@example.com | Twitter: @MattKadosh
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