This page will serve as a hub to direct Montclair Local readers to our most up-to-date news coverage of the COVID-19 situation, as well as to offer links to statewide and national resources for the latest information. It will be updated as news develops. This page was most recently updated Wednesday, April 8, at 5:05 p.m.
The New York/New Jersey area is dealing with an ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, with 47,437 cases and 1,504 deaths confirmed in New Jersey — including 193 cases in Montclair, resulting in 20 deaths — as of Wednesday afternoon, April 8.
Montclair’s municipal buildings, schools, public library, and parks and recreation facilities have all closed. Statewide regulations have indefinitely closed bars and restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and all other non-essential businesses, while residents are asked not to travel between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. No gatherings are permitted anywhere in the state.
A full day-by-day timeline of Montclair Local’s coverage since the pandemic began is available here. Below is all of Montclair Local’s coverage posted in the last week:
The week that was
Wednesday, April 7: 47,437 cases statewide, 193 cases in Montclair; 1,504 deaths statewide, 20 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. 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, 118 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.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Those symptoms can develop within 2-14 days of exposure to the virus, which can occur as a result of close contact (within about six feet) with an infected person, or by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces. The World Health Organization has declared a pandemic, with cases surfacing in more than 100 countries worldwide.
While it is believed that most individuals who contract COVID-19 will deal with mild symptoms, limiting the spread of the virus is essential, authorities say, both to protect individuals at higher-risk of serious illness after contracting COVID-19 — including older adults, or people with serious chronic medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease — as well as to prevent local medical facilities from being overwhelmed. (This strategy is known as “flattening the curve.”)
To that end, officials are urging people — whether healthy or sick — to follow the principle of “social distancing,” avoiding unnecessary travel and limiting in-person interactions in groups of any size. Individuals feeling symptoms should self-quarantine, minimizing all activities except for seeking medical care.
Information and best practices from the CDC
According to the CDC, the best way to avoid contracting COVID-19 is to limit exposure, either to people in close contact or surfaces that may have been contaminated. The CDC offers these tips to protect yourself:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people at higher risk of serious illness as a result of the virus.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to seek medical treatment. Wear a face mask if you are sick. (You do not need to wear a face mask if you are not sick, unless you are caring for someone who is sick.)
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash immediately, and wash your hands afterward.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
And below are links to the CDC website offering guidelines for the most helpful behaviors to follow while COVID-19 is actively spreading:
- Community mitigation strategies — steps to take to limit community spread
- Keeping workplaces, homes, schools, or commercial establishments safe
- What to do you if you feel sick with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath
- Information for individual households
- Information for travelers
- Answers to frequently asked questions from the CDC
Montclair Local relies on reader support so we can keep reporting the news and events that matter to Montclair. Become a member and be a part of supporting your local nonprofit news organization!