This page will serve as an archive for a day-by-day timeline of Montclair Local’s coverage of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, with the most recent stories at the top. This page will be updated regularly.
Wednesday, May 27: 156,628 cases statewide, 414 cases in Montclair; 11,339 deaths statewide, 49 deaths in Montclair
- New Jersey reaches its benchmark goal of 30,000 COVID-19 tests per day a week early, Gov. Murphy announces. There are now 164 testing sites throughout the state, including Rite Aid, CVS and Walmart locations.
Tuesday, May 26: 155,764 cases statewide, 416 cases in Montclair; 11,191 deaths statewide, 49 deaths in Montclair
- Citing a decline in the number of children being vaccinated against diseases like whooping cough and measles during the COVID-19 pandemic, State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli urges parents and pediatricians to find ways to resume widespread vaccinations, calling it a serious health care issue.
- Gov. Murphy announces that in-person school graduation ceremonies may be held beginning July 6. The Montclair school district, which is planning a virtual graduation ceremony on June 24, is still weighing options for how to proceed.
Monday, May 25: 155,061 cases statewide, 409 cases in Montclair; 11,137 deaths statewide, 48 deaths in Montclair
Sunday, May 24: 154,154 cases statewide, 408 cases in Montclair; 11,133 deaths statewide, 48 deaths in Montclair
- New Jersey reports fewer than 1,000 deaths statewide during the week ending May 24, the first such week since March.
Saturday, May 23: 153,104 cases statewide, 408 cases in Montclair; 11,081 deaths statewide, 48 deaths in Montclair
- A Montclair high schooler has created a website to connect residents with different COVID-19 relief efforts.
- Montclair’s Catholic churches have reopened for small, private prayer service as they await permission from the Archdiocese of Newark to reopen for public worship. But even after that happens, officials say, church services will look very different compared to before the pandemic.
Friday, May 22: 152,719 cases statewide, 407 cases in Montclair; 10,985 deaths statewide, 48 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy announces that outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people will now be allowed, just in time for Memorial Day Weekend, though mask-wearing and social distancing should remain standard. Additionally, campgrounds and other outdoor recreational activities will reopen.
- Romance is far from dead in the time of quarantine, but it’s still been an adjustment for many single people to meet and date entirely virtually. We caught up with a Montclair matchmaker to find out what’s new in the dating world, and how virtual dating could impact future couples.
Thursday, May 21: 151,442 cases statewide, 405 cases in Montclair; 10,843 deaths statewide, 48 deaths in Montclair
- With the state’s unemployment rate skyrocketing to 15 percent and still ways away from reopening the economy, New Jersey is providing a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits for residents who are currently out of work.
- Montclair’s pet groomers are back in business, much to the relief of many pet owners. We looked into the precautions being taken and the new processes of two Montclair grooming studios, who are working overtime to serve our furry friends.
Wednesday, May 20: 150,399 cases statewide, 405 cases in Montclair; 10,747 deaths statewide, 47 deaths in Montclair
- In addition to the pharmacies announced Tuesday, state officials announce that Walmart and Quest Diagnostics will partner to offer COVID-19 testing beginning May 22, part of the state’s goal to have universal testing available to all residents. New Jersey will also begin allowing residents who use the SNAP program to buy groceries online through Amazon, Walmart, Shop Rite, and The Fresh Grocers.
- We caught up with Montclair retailers, who have now reopened for curbside pickup, to see how they’ve dealt with a two-month disruption to their business.
- Day care centers remained closed (except for the children of essential workers) with no reopening yet in sight, but some are still charging some form of tuition. For some families, who have lost income during the pandemic, that’s meant a choice between paying to keep their child enrolled or withdrawing their child and losing their spot.
Tuesday, May 19: 149,013 cases statewide, 406 cases in Montclair; 10,586 deaths statewide, 47 deaths in Montclair
- More than 18,000 pharmacies throughout New Jersey receive the go-ahead to offer COVID-19 testing, which is planned to be operational by the end of May.
Monday, May 18: 148,039 cases statewide, 403 cases in Montclair; 10,435 deaths statewide, 47 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy outlines a plan to reopen the state’s economy based on benchmarks including the availability of testing and contact tracing, the number of new cases, and other data. New Jersey is currently in “stage 1,” with limited reopenings of retail businesses and outdoor activities. Stage 2, which could be reached as early as mid-June, would see see the reopening of expanded retail, restaurants with outdoor seating, limited personal care establishments, and possibly indoor dining, museums, and libraries, all with significantly reduced capacity.
Sunday, May 17: 146,334 cases statewide, 398 cases in Montclair; 10,356 deaths statewide, 47 deaths in Montclair
- The week’s totals of new cases and hospitalizations shows a notable decline, with 4,000 fewer new cases than the week prior, and 950 fewer hospitalizations than were reported on May 10.
- The Montclair school district announces that Montclair High School will hold a virtual-only graduation on June 24.
Saturday, May 16: 145,089 cases statewide, 397 cases in Montclair; 10,249 deaths statewide, 47 deaths in Montclair
- The governor announces the reopening of fishing charters, charter boat companies and watercraft rental companies as of May 17, as outdoor and recreational activities continue to reopen.
Friday, May 15: 143,905 cases statewide, 395 cases in Montclair; 10,138 deaths statewide, 47 deaths in Montclair
- New Jersey will make $50 million in federal aid available as grants to small businesses affected by the pandemic, with more details to be announced.
- With people stuck at home and police departments and courts harder to access during the quarantine, advocates for victims of domestic violence and child abuse are concerned that abuse is not only under-reported, but could be escalating.
- Parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church have been delivering food daily to first responders and workers at Mountainside hospital.
Thursday, May 14: 142,704 cases statewide, 393 cases in Montclair; 9,946 deaths statewide, 47 deaths in Montclair
- State officials announce that 17 children, four of whom have tested positive for COVID-19, are being investigated for Kawasaki disease, a rare fever-causing illness affecting children under 5.
- Backups and glitches in the state unemployment system have meant that hundreds of thousands of New Jersey workers have been unable to access crucial benefits they need.
Wednesday, May 13: 141,560 cases statewide, 392 cases in Montclair; 9,702 deaths statewide, 47 deaths in Montclair
- Nonessential retail businesses will open for curbside pickup, drive-through and drive-up as of May 18, the governor announces., though with strict social distancing and infection control protocols being followed. Nonessential construction will also be allowed to resume.
Tuesday, May 12: 140,743 cases statewide, 391 cases in Montclair; 9,508 deaths statewide, 47 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy announces the state’s intentions to test 25,000 people per day by the end of June, in addition to the hiring of 1,000 contact tracers, who will help officials determine where the virus is spreading.
Monday, May 11: 139,945 cases statewide, 391 cases in Montclair; 9,310 deaths statewide, 46 deaths in Montclair
- State officials announce that no gatherings of any size will be permitted to celebrate school graduations in June, though drive-by celebrations will be permitted. On a positive note, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in New Jersey continues to decline, and the state sees a huge drop in the rate of positive tests, which drops to 26 percent.
Sunday, May 10: 138,532 cases statewide, 391 cases in Montclair; 9,259 deaths statewide, 46 deaths in Montclair
- New Jersey begins testing asymptomatic residents for COVID-19 for the first time.
- In a different world, the streets and theaters of Montclair would have been jam-packed this week for the 2020 Montclair Film Festival. But after its cancellation in March, Montclair Film has, like other cultural organizations in the time of quarantine, had to pivot to connecting film lovers and film students online.
Saturday, May 9: 137,085 cases statewide, 387 cases in Montclair; 9,116 deaths statewide, 45 deaths in Montclair
- The FDA approves a COVID-19 test kit that can be used by people lat home, which is set to be made available in the near future. Meanwhile, Essex County residents who have tested positive for the virus and recovered will be able to donate their plasma at sites in Fairfield and Newark beginning May 11.
Friday, May 8: 135,454 cases statewide, 385 cases in Montclair; 8,952 deaths statewide, 45 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy announces that New Jersey’s two state-run COVID-19 testing centers, in Paramus and Holmdel, will begin testing asymptomatic residents for the first time. Expanding testing is “one of our key principles for getting New Jersey firmly on the road back to restart and recovery,” the governor says.
- The burden of feeding the needy continues to mount for food pantries like Montclair’s Toni’s Kitchen, Human Needs Food Pantry and Salvation Army, who have seen their list of clients triple since the pandemic began.
- We heard from some of the front-line workers keeping Montclair running as they deal with their new normal at work.
Thursday, May 7: 133,635 cases statewide, 386 cases in Montclair; 8,801 deaths statewide, 44 deaths in Montclair
- More than a million New Jersey residents have applied for unemployment benefits since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with some 300,000 still awaiting payment, reflecting an overloaded system and human error.
Wednesday, May 6: 131,890 cases statewide, 382 cases in Montclair; 8,552 deaths statewide, 44 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy announces that New Jersey’s state-of-emergency order will be extended into June, as the state continues to maintain its current level of “war footing.”
- A Montclair High School graduate living in Kentucky, where he lives and works as a doctor, returned home to help fight COVID-19 at a New York City hospital.
Tuesday, May 5: 130,593 cases statewide, 381 cases in Montclair; 8,244 deaths statewide, 44 deaths in Montclair
- A report from state health officials indicates that about half of New Jersey’s death toll from COVID-19 involves residents of long-term care facilities and nursing homes. More than 500 such facilities statewide — 46 of which are in Essex County — have recorded at least one case, resulting in more than 22,000 of the state’s cases to date.
- A Montclair State University student sues the school and requests a refund of tuition and fees, contending that the school’s switch to virtual learning during the pandemic has resulted in a “subpar” experience.
Monday, May 4: 128,269 cases statewide, 381 cases in Montclair; 7,910 deaths statewide, 44 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy announces the closure of all public and private schools in New Jersey through the end of the 2019-20 school year. Montclair’s public schools had been closed, with students engaging in distance learning, since March 16; a statewide order closing all schools in the state followed two days later.
Sunday, May 3: 126,744 cases statewide, 374 cases in Montclair; 7,871 deaths statewide, 44 deaths in Montclair
- A review of the COVID-19 cases from the previous week show about 5,000 fewer positive cases reported – but 200 more deaths – during the week of April 26-May 2, compared to April 19-25.
- The “victory garden,” a staple of American life during the two world wars, is making a comeback in Montclair, with some residents growing their own vegetables to provide a sustainable food source during the crisis.
Saturday, May 2: 123,717 cases statewide, 371 cases in Montclair; 7,742 deaths statewide, 44 deaths in Montclair
- More than 50 hospitals in New Jersey will receive a combined $1.7 billion in federal aid to help them continue to fight the pandemic.
- The air is significantly less polluted than usual this year, thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown. One expert at Montclair State University believes it’s possible that a new post-lockdown “normal,” in which fewer people commute to work, could keep pollution levels lower than expected.
- Some eateries in Montclair who buy their food supplies in bulk are re-purposing excess inventory and selling them to residents as groceries for delivery and pickup.
- The shutdown has closed many state and municipal buildings, meaning that residents are unable to receive marriage licenses or driver’s licenses. Driver’s license renewals, however, are still being processed.
Friday, May 1: 121,190 cases statewide, 365 cases in Montclair; 7,538 deaths statewide, 43 deaths in Montclair
- On the eve of the reopening of state and county parks, Gov. Murphy urged residents to be aware of larger trend lines instead of single-day spikes or drops in the number of cases.
- Montclair officially announces that its municipal parks – in addition to county parks, like Brookdale – will open to the public May 2 after a six-week closure, but with some caveats: All park-goers must wear masks, must engage in social distancing, and may only engage in “passive recreation,” including hiking, walking, running/jogging, biking, or bird watching.
- The Montclair Public Library begins to adjust to a new normal of offering all of its programs virtually, including its popular Open Book/Open Mind series, in addition to its catalogue of books, movies and magazines.
- The CDC reports a rise in calls to poison control since the lockdown began, and urges residents to be careful with chemical cleaners aroudn the house.
Thursday, April 30: 118,652 cases statewide, 356 cases in Montclair; 7,228 deaths statewide, 41 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy announces that New Jersey will be receiving more than a half-million COVID-19 test kits from the federal government, and that long-term care facilities throughout the state would be receiving needed personal protective equipment.
- Even as they deal with shuttered storefronts, reduced hours, and decreased revenue, businesses in the South End of Montclair are doing what they can to support their neighbors.
- Similar to for-profit businesses, nonprofits in Montclair are having difficulties accessing much-needed funding from the government.
Wednesday, April 29: 116,264 cases statewide, 356 cases in Montclair; 6,770 deaths statewide, 41 deaths in Montclair
- State parks and golf courses will re-open as of Saturday, May 2, per the governor’s orders. County parks may re-open at the discretion of each county’s government; Essex County later announced that its parks – including Brookdale Park in Montclair – would reopen for “passive recreation.” Social distancing and the wearing of masks will still be required in all situation.
- Gov. Murphy announces that New Jersey municipalities will be permitted to delay the payment deadline for property taxes from May 1 to June 1. Montclair has not yet announced if it will do so; the grace period for late payments before interest will begin to accrue is May 11.
Tuesday, April 28: 113,856 cases statewide, 353 cases in Montclair; 6,442 deaths statewide, 41 deaths in Montclair
- The governor names a 21-member task force, comprised of residents representing a variety of fields, to advise state officials on the future reopening of New Jersey. The force includes Montclair residents Jeh Johnson, the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, and Evelyn Colbert, a founding board member of Montclair Film.
Monday, April 27: 111,188 cases statewide, 349 cases in Montclair; 6,044 deaths statewide, 40 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy outlines the steps that need to happen before he can consider the reopening of New Jersey’s economy, including a reduction in the number of active cases of the virus, more widespread testing, robust contact tracing, and safe locations where those who test positive can isolate.
Sunday, April 26: 109,038 cases statewide, 346 cases in Montclair; 5,938 deaths statewide, 40 deaths in Montclair
- The number of positive tests statewide increases by 3,730, but the number of statewide deaths is just 75, as the number of hospitalizations continues to slowly decrease.
- Area theater organizations are beginning to re-emerge, beginning with the offering virtual classes for students.
Saturday, April 25: 105,523 cases statewide, 338 cases in Montclair; 5,863 deaths statewide, 39 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy urges residents to continue to social distance into the warmer months, with closures and restrictions likely to continue for weeks to come.
- First responders held a socially-distanced parade outside Mountainside Hospital Friday to celebrate the heroism of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers.
- College student Sam Levine has been using some of his quarantine time to entertain neighbors on Christopher Street, performing songs and gathering a following on his block.
Friday, April 24: 102,196 cases statewide, 334 cases in Montclair; 5,617 deaths statewide, 38 deaths in Montclair
- The number of statewide hospitalizations and patients in critical care continues to improve gradually. But Essex County reports 46 new deaths, and the county is now significantly ahead of Bergen County for the most deaths reported in the state, with 974.
- Montclair High School juniors and seniors are likely to miss out on most of their traditional rites of passage in 2020, including proms and graduation. We talked to the students to see how they were getting by.
- April 12-18 was Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week, and we checked in with Montclair’s ACOs to discover how they’ve been taking care of the township’s animal population during a frenetic last six weeks.
Thursday, April 23: 99,989 cases statewide, 325 cases in Montclair; 5,368 deaths statewide, 35 deaths in Montclair
- The state announces the rollout of a new saliva-based COVID-19 test, developed by scientists at Rutgers, that is less invasive and more accurate than the nose swab test. The new tests will also allow the state to expand testing greatly, a huge step towards helping New Jersey reopen its economy in the future.
- Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been hard hit by the pandemic; in New Jersey, more than 10,000 residents of these facilities have tested positive, resulting in more than 1,700 deaths. And for families of those living and working in these facilities, it can be difficult to find out exactly what’s happening inside.
- The pandemic and the lockdown has impacted the mental health of many people over the past month. We talked to some local experts to find out what you can do if you’re struggling.
- A Montclair company donated a number of COVID-19 antibody test kits to the Montclair Ambulance Unit, giving the front-line workers the chance to know whether they’ve already been infected with the virus, and whether they might have some immunity to it as a result.
Wednesday, April 22: 95,865 cases statewide, 314 cases in Montclair; 5,063 deaths statewide, 34 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy has harsh words for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said it would be a good course of action to allow states to declare bankruptcy instead of receiving federal aid, calling McConnell’s comments “irresponsible.”
Tuesday, April 21: 92,387 cases statewide, 308 cases in Montclair; 4,753 deaths statewide, 34 deaths in Montclair
- Essex County’s death toll rises to 849, for the first time surpassing Bergen County for the most in New Jersey. The state’s death toll and hospitalization numbers rise, although it is unclear if this is the result of a lag in weekend reporting.
Monday, April 20: 88,806 cases statewide, 303 cases in Montclair; 4,377 deaths statewide, 32 deaths in Montclair
- The state releases numbers showing that New Jersey’s long-term care facilities are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 10,700 positive cases and 1,779 deaths reported. Five Montclair facilities have reported at least one death.
- A group of Montclair landlords wins a court order that blocks the township’s new rent control ordinance. The landlords argue that they should be allowed to petition for a town-wide referendum on rent control, but that this is not possible until the pandemic state of emergency ends.
Sunday, April 19: 85,301 cases statewide, 300 cases in Montclair; 4,202 deaths statewide, 32 deaths in Montclair
- The number of hospitalizations continues to trend in a positive direction, with nearly 250 more patients released from hospitals than taken in between Saturday and Sunday.
- Montclair music instructors including School of Rock and Jazz House Kids are adapting to the quarantine by offering online classes to students.
Saturday, April 18: 81,420 cases statewide, 290 cases in Montclair; 4,070 deaths statewide, 32 deaths in Montclair
- In one of the most encouraging signs for New Jersey to date, the number of new hospitalizations statewide decreases by 50 percent, and the rate of new cases and deaths falls again, bringing hope that the social distancing measures are beginning to bring the pandemic under control in New Jersey.
Friday, April 17: 78,467 cases statewide, 287 cases in Montclair; 3,840 deaths statewide, 32 deaths in Montclair
- The number of new cases, deaths, and hospitalizations fall on Friday compared to Thursday, but Gov. Murphy continued to urge the need for continued social distancing as the state’s death toll from COVID-19 is now five times as many residents as were lost on 9/11.
- The Montclair Farmers’ Market announced new guidelines to help keep shoppers and workers safe, including an online ordering and curbside pickup system. The market at the Walnut Street Train Station remains open each Saturday as an essential retail business.
Thursday, April 16: 75,317 cases statewide, 284 cases in Montclair; 3,518 deaths statewide, 30 deaths in Montclair
- New Jersey schools will remain closed until at least May 15, the governor announced at his daily briefing.
- The federal government’s small business loan program offers much-needed funding for so many businesses, but a number of Montclair businesses are having difficulty accessing that funding.
- Non-essential construction work was halted by Gov. Murphy’s executive order earlier in the week, but it’s not clear which ongoing projects in Montclair will be shut down.
- Residents are finding different ways to celebrate birthdays in the era of social distancing, including inviting friends for a virtual surprise party, gathering the neighborhood for a birthday singalong, and more.
- Montclair State University’s 3D printer lab is assembling mask parts and face shields to donate to healthcare workers who need as much personal protective equipment as can be marshalled.
Wednesday, April 15: 71,030 cases statewide, 279 cases in Montclair; 3,156 deaths statewide, 29 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy continued to stress the long-term nature of the pandemic, saying at his daily briefing that he could not “see a normal gathering in the forseeable future.”
- The governor praised a Montclair landlord for freezing rent payments for his tenants, but a solution to the problems landlords and tenants are facing in town may not be so simple, despite the state order that no one may be evicted from their home during the pandemic.
Tuesday, April 14: 68,824 cases statewide, 263 cases in Montclair; 2,805 deaths statewide, 28 deaths in Montclair
- Though projections can shift by the day, state officials say that the state could reach the peak of this COVID-19 outbreak on April 25. It is reported that more than a half-million New Jersey residents have applied for unemployment over the prior three weeks.
Monday, April 13: 64,584 cases statewide, 243 cases in Montclair; 2,443 deaths statewide, 25 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy signs an order preventing telecommunications services from terminating Internet and phone service due to nonpayment. New Jersey joins New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island in forming a regional council to gradually and concurrently lift stay-at-home orders, when the time comes.
Sunday, April 12: 61,850 cases statewide, 236 cases in Montclair; 2,350 deaths statewide, 24 deaths in Montclair
- Essex County releases a statistical breakdown of the COVID-19 situation which shows the county being one of the hardest-hit in New Jersey per capita, with nine positive cases per 1,000 people. Six Essex towns, including Montclair, have reported more than 10 cases per capita.
- We spoke with several Montclair residents who were outside the country before the coronavirus pandemic began, who have faced difficulties in returning home.
Saturday, April 11: 58,151 cases statewide, 228 cases in Montclair; 2,183 deaths statewide, 24 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy extends his executive order on mask-wearing to takeout restaurants and public transit, beginning Monday.
- Since the pandemic began, New Jersey has relaxed laws banning alcohol delivery from breweries, allowing many – including the Montclair Brewery on Walnut Street – to remain viable.
Friday, April 10: 54,588 cases statewide, 220 cases in Montclair; 1,932 deaths statewide, 24 deaths in Montclair
- The township reports a lower number of cases than Thursday, based on information that differs from Essex County’s reporting. The state government receives rapid COVID-19 testing systems that can deliver results within 5 to 13 minutes.
- The latest executive orders from Gov. Murphy require all residents entering stores to wear face coverings, and limit stores’ occupancy to half of what they normally are. Shoppers should prepare to wait their turn during peak hours.
- Social distancing rules have meant that it’s become difficult for families to grieve loved ones lost in the past month. Funeral parlors are considered an essential business, but in Montclair, they are limiting the number of family members who can attend a funeral service to 10 or fewer.
- On Easter weekend, we caught up with clergy and parishioners to see how they will celebrate Christianity’s holiest day, a day typically spent in church and at large family gatherings, in the age of COVID-19.
Thursday, April 9: 51,027 cases statewide, 231 cases reported in Montclair; 1,700 deaths statewide, 23 deaths in Montclair
- The number of new cases among Montclair residents jumps by 28, with the township death toll rising to 23.
- Montclair’s municipal elections are approaching, but in a world of social distancing where gatherings are banned, how do candidates staying connected to voters?
Wednesday, April 8: 47,437 cases statewide, 203 cases in Montclair; 1,504 deaths statewide, 22 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy announces two new executive orders, one requiring all retail shoppers and employees to wear face coverings, and another halting all “non-essential construction” by April 9.
- Used gloves and face masks have been seen discarded in Montclair parking lots, and authorities are urging residents to properly dispose of them.
Tuesday, April 7: 44,416 cases statewide, 193 cases in Montclair; 1,232 deaths statewide, 20 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy extends the public health state of emergency another month, extending into mid-May. When questioned about what would happen to high school graduation ceremonies and celebrations, Murphy responds, “I wouldn’t put down the non-refundable checks on those celebrations.”
- Some gas stations in town have shuttered temporarily, reflecting concern over the safety risks attendants, who are required by law to operate gas pumps, may face by coming in close contact with customers.
Monday, April 6: 41,090 cases statewide, 181 cases in Montclair; 1,003 deaths statewide, 20 deaths in Montclair
- The earliest indicators show that social distancing is helping to flatten the curve in New Jersey, Gov. Murphy says, with the growth rate for new cases halving in the past week. Still, however, the state continues to be hard-hit, exceeding 1,000 total deaths. Montclair sees 16 new cases.
Sunday, April 5: 37,505 cases statewide, 165 cases in Montclair; 917 deaths statewide, 20 deaths in Montclair
- Eighty-one more deaths are reported in New Jersey, including two Montclair residents. The Essex County’s ten largest municipalities have all reported at least 150 cases as of Sunday morning.
- Many local institutions are asking for assistance in this time of crisis, from those with the ability to provide. One of those is the Montclair Ambulance Unit, which is seeking financial help as well as equipment to keep its staff safe.
Saturday, April 4: 34,124 cases statewide, 155 cases in Montclair; 846 deaths statewide, 18 deaths in Montclair
- The number of New Jersey deaths from COVID-19 surpasses the number of residents who died on 9/11, Gov. Murphy announces. More than 362,000 people have filed for unemployment benefits over the past two weeks, the state announces.
- Montclair musician and artist Warren Zanes remembers former Montclair resident Adam Schlesinger, the songwriter and cofounder of Fountains of Wayne, who died earlier this week of COVID-19 complications.
- Montclair houses of worship are having to adjust to the new world in which in-person religious services, ceremonies and education are not possible.
Friday, April 3: 29,895 cases statewide, 142 cases in Montclair; 646 deaths statewide, 17 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy announces that flags will be flown at half-mast indefinitely out of respect for the growing pandemic death toll in the state.
- Some residents are asking the town to ban the use of leaf blowers during the shutdown, but town officials say that would be contrary to the governor’s executive order, and thus illegal.
- The Jewish holiday of Passover begins this week, and we checked in on area residents and synagogues to find out how they’ll observe the holiday while social distancing.
- Internationally renowned chef Floyd Cardoz, a Verona resident, made his presence felt in Montclair, New York and beyond.
Thursday, April 2: 25,590 cases statewide, 102 cases in Montclair; 537 deaths statewide, 13 deaths in Montclair
- The state announces 162 new deaths, and Gov. Murphy says that we are likely about a week or so away from discovering how well New Jersey has “flattened the curve,” with nearly two weeks having passed since stay-at-home orders were announced.
Wednesday, April 1: 22,255 cases statewide, 102 cases in Montclair; 355 deaths statewide, 13 deaths in Montclair
- The number of cases statewide rises by 3,649, a new largest single-day increase, with projections showing that a surge of cases may hit New Jersey in the next two weeks.
- Montclair residents are complying with social distancing orders, and as a result people are finding ways to cope with life at home.
Tuesday, March 31: 18,696 cases statewide, 96 cases in Montclair; 267 deaths statewide, 13 deaths in Montclair
- Seventeen more Montclair residents test positive for the virus, as 2,196 new cases are announced in the state.
- Technology has become more important than ever in our social lives, as we saw when we caught up with some Montclair residents who are organizing meet-ups and games with friends and family via webcam.
- A photo gallery of Montclair residents who are placing teddy bears in their windows for neighborhood children to “hunt.”
- Montclair’s high school athletes are dealing with the realization that their spring seasons may never occur, a tough blow to soon-to-graduate seniors looking for one last season with their teammates.
Monday, March 30: 16,636 cases statewide, 79 cases in Montclair; 198 deaths statewide, 13 deaths in Montclair
- Projections released by the state show the impact social distancing will have on easing the burden on New Jersey’s healthcare system: lower hospitalization rates, less need for ICU beds, and a greater percentage of the sick who can be treated.
- Residents have organized a “clap-out” to show appreciation for essential workers, and several groups in town are working to get financial support, food and equipment to hospitals where they are badly needed.
Sunday, March 29: 13,386 cases statewide, 55 cases in Montclair; 141 deaths statewide, 10 deaths in Montclair
- A travel advisory is announced for New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, urging residents to avoid non-essential travel for the following 14 games. The number of positive cases statewide jumps by more than 2,000.
Saturday, March 28: 11,124 cases statewide, 55 cases in Montclair; 120 deaths statewide, 10 deaths in Montclair
- Nine of the 10 deaths announced in Montclair to date have involved long-term healthcare facilities, township officials announce.
- In response to critical shortages of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers in New Jersey, Montclair residents begin organizing a collection of masks, and the use of 3D printers to manufacture more equipment is explored.
Friday, March 27: 8,825 cases statewide, 50 cases in Montclair; 108 deaths statewide, 10 deaths in Montclair
- Testing statewide begins to ramp up, with the announcement of an Essex County testing site in Newark. The number of positive tests statewide jumps by nearly 2,000, and a 10th Montclair resident is announced to have died.
- Toni’s Kitchen, the Human Needs Food Pantry, and Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless are all finding ways to cope with the pandemic and help people in need get food and other basics.
- The state announces that any decision to reopen or close schools will not be made until mid-April, after the Montclair district’s spring break.
- We spoke with the leaders of several blood banks, who have been facing major, “desperate” shortages since residents have been ordered to stay home, and since the usual sites for donations have been shut down.
Thursday, March 26: 6,876 cases statewide, 41 cases in Montclair; 81 deaths statewide, 9 deaths in Montclair
- Montclair announces that three more residents have died as a result of COVID-19, while statewide testing continues to ramp up dramatically, resulting in the biggest single-day increase in positive cases in New Jersey to date.
- The Montclair Township Animal Shelter is closed to the public, but continues to operate as its employees have been deemed “essential” personnel. Director Liz Morgan is urging residents to foster or adopt an animal, if they are willing and able, during the crisis.
- Good Samaritans are helping people who can’t get to grocery stores get the food and essentials they need, while area grocery stores themselves are making accommodations for seniors and those at higher risk from the virus.
- Some Montclair residents are wondering why the mayor and township council have remained fairly quiet as the pandemic has shut Montclair down.
Wednesday, March 25: 4,402 cases statewide, 38 cases in Montclair; 62 deaths statewide, 6 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy orders the closure of daycare facilities except for those which exclusively serve the families of essential workers. The Montclair YMCA announces it will offer childcare for first responders.
- Seventeen more Montclair residents test positive, and the township death toll rises to six. The state announces that a testing site in Newark will offer a limited number of tests per day for Essex County residents beginning Thursday.
Tuesday, March 24: 3,675 cases statewide, 21 cases in Montclair; 44 deaths statewide, 4 deaths in Montclair
- The number of positive cases in Montclair increases to 21, with four total deaths, officials say. The statewide total rises to more than 3,600 cases.
- DeCamp Bus Lines announces it will suspend service indefinitely beginning March 25.
Monday, March 23: 2,844 cases statewide, 10 cases in Montclair; 27 deaths statewide, 2 deaths in Montclair
- A Bergenfield man who served as executive director of a Montclair nursing home died after contracting COVID-19.
- The number of total cases makes its largest jump to date, with 935 new cases announced. Gov. Murphy announces that the state will step up enforcement of the “stay at home” order.
Sunday, March 22: 1,914 cases statewide, 10 cases in Montclair; 20 deaths statewide, 2 deaths in Montclair
- The number of cases statewide jumps by more than 500, as officials urge residents to avoid disinformation and sources spreading panic.
- The Montclair Township Council announces that its meetings will now be held via webconference, with residents able to call in during the public comment portion of the meetings.
- All high school sports are postponed with the statewide closure of schools. No teams and coaches will be allowed to organize formal or informal practices.
- Toni’s Kitchen workers pack hundreds of meals for students, many of whom relied on the now-closed schools to provide their lunch every weekday.
Saturday, March 21: 1,327 cases statewide, 7 cases in Montclair; 16 deaths statewide, 2 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy announces the closure of all nonessential businesses and that all gatherings of any size are banned. Businesses that may remain open include grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, medical supply stores, stores that sell supplies for children, pet stores, convenience stores, banks, office supply stores, laundromats and dry cleaners, mail and delivery stores, and auto shops.
- A report from the first day of remote learning in the Montclair schools.
Friday, March 20: 890 cases statewide, 5 cases in Montclair; 11 deaths statewide, 2 deaths in Montclair
- The state opens its first testing center, at Bergen Community College, as the number of positive tests in New Jersey jumps to 890, and two more deaths statewide are announced.
- The Montclair Center BID publishes a list of local restaurants that are open and offering delivery, takeout, and curbside pickup.
- Montclair State University announces that all students will be asked to leave their dorms unless they have nowhere else to go. The school is on spring break and would be set to re-open March 23; all classes had previously been moved to online only.
- The state announces that all upcoming elections will be held May 12; Montclair’s municipal elections scheduled for that date will be mail-in-vote only.
Thursday, March 19: 742 cases statewide, 5 cases in Montclair; 9 deaths statewide, 2 deaths in Montclair
- Two Montclair residents have died after contracting COVID-19, the township announces, and a fifth resident has tested positive. Statewide cases nearly double again as testing ramps up.
- Montclair’s May 12 municipal elections will take place by mail-in ballot only, on orders from the state government.
Wednesday, March 18: 427 cases statewide, 4 cases in Montclair; 6 deaths statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- Officials announce the first positive case involving an employee of the school district, a teacher at Renaissance Middle School, who is not from Montclair. Additionally, two more Montclair State University employees have also tested positive.
- A lighter moment during the crisis: Neighbors on Brookfield Road begin sharing a nightly toast with each other as a way to raise each other’s spirits, at a safe distance.
- The number of cases statewide jumps again, to 427, with Essex County’s total increasing to 45. The state reports a surge of new unemployment claims as businesses are forced to close
Tuesday, March 17: 267 cases statewide, 4 cases in Montclair; 3 deaths statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- A fourth Montclair resident tests positive for COVID-19, as the statewide total case number climbs to 267. Gov. Murphy announces more restrictions, including that all non-essential businesses must close at 8 p.m. — this excludes grocers, pharmacies, gas stations and medical offices.
- The Montclair business community reacts to governor’s announcement of closures a day earlier. The prospect of a long hiatus is a worriesome for Montclair’s many small businesses, but Montclair Center BID director Jason Gleason urges residents to continue to shop local.
- A wide-ranging roundup of all of the disruption to Montclair’s normally busy arts and cultural scene, including reactions from the heads of the Montclair Film Festival and Montclair Literary Festival.
Monday, March 16: 178 cases statewide, 3 cases in Montclair; 2 deaths statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- The state of New Jersey announces travel restrictions between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. for all residents, and orders the closure of all restaurants and bars (except for food takeout and delivery), gyms, movie theaters, and casinos.
Sunday, March 15: 98 cases statewide, 3 cases in Montclair; 2 deaths statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- Montclair Township announces the closure of all town parks and recreation facilities, and declares a state of emergency. The number of positive cases in New Jersey reaches 98, including the state’s second death related to the virus, a Monmouth County woman.
- Lives and activities for Montclair’s seniors are upended as a result of the cancellation of programs and the closure of facilities.
Saturday, March 14: 69 cases statewide, 3 cases in Montclair; 1 death statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- The number of cases statewide jumps from 50 to 69, with the number of positive tests in Essex County rising from three (all in Montclair) to seven. No new Montclair positives are announced Saturday. The Montclair municipal courts announce a two-week suspension beginning March 16.
- We visited a number of small businesses and grocers in town to get a sense of how they are faring in the early days of this outbreak. Many businesses are making adjustments to their schedule and their practices, with some offering curbside pickup delivery among other changes.
- The township suspends parking rules in select areas of town, in light of residents needing to telecommute.
Friday, March 13: 50 cases statewide, 3 cases in Montclair; 2 deaths statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- Two residents have tested positive for COVID-19, a 60-year-old man and a 77-year-old woman, the township announces. They are the second and third Montclair residents to test positive thus far. The Montclair YMCA closes indefinitely after a member tested positive, while the Montclair Public Library announces it will close temporarily and suspend programming through the end of March.
- The Montclair Public Schools announced that they close school buildings and move to remote learning on Monday, March 16, with plans to continue for at least two weeks, and potentially into the district’s mid-April spring break.
Thursday, March 12: 29 cases statewide, 1 case in Montclair; 1 death statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- The state Department of Health announces six new positive tests for COVID-19, one of which is a 66-year-old Montclair woman, a Montclair State University employee, who is hospitalized at Mountainside Hospital.
Wednesday, March 11: 23 cases statewide, 0 cases in Montclair; 1 death statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- In the wake of the announcement of the first announced death of a New Jersey resident from the virus, a spate of Montclair organizations postpone or cancel upcoming events — including the Montclair Film Festival and the Montclair Literary Festival.
Tuesday, March 10: 15 cases statewide, 0 cases in Montclair; 0 deaths statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- Montclair schools announce they will close on Friday, March 13, so that staff can prepare to teach students online in the event that in-person classes must be canceled.
Monday, March 9: 11 cases statewide, 0 cases in Montclair; 0 deaths statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- Gov. Murphy declares a public health emergency in New Jersey. The township cancels events for seniors.
Friday, March 6: 4 cases statewide, 0 cases in Montclair; 0 deaths statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- The Montclair Public Schools announce measures to sanitize school buildings more vigorously, and that a staffer has tested negative for the virus.
Thursday, March 5: 1 case statewide, 0 cases in Montclair; 0 deaths statewide, 0 deaths in Montclair
- New Jersey announces its first resident who is believed to have tested positive for COVID-19, a Fort Lee man recently returned from China. Montclair school district officials ask any students or staff who are ill with respiratory symptoms or flu-like symptoms to stay home as a precautionary measure.