image_pdf
COVID-19
Watchung School
PHOTO BY ERIN ROLL/STAFF

By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news  

A Watchung School staff member tested positive for COVID-19, district officials said.

Although schools are not set to reopen until Nov. 9, officials are taking precautions.

“The district is coordinating closely with our school physician, the Montclair Health Department and following Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state, and local health department guidance in order to assure the health and safety of our community. Close contacts within the school have been notified and will quarantine,” Superintendent Jonathan Ponds said in a letter to parents on Oct. 28.

All exposed areas in the schools will be cleaned and disinfected, he said. Officials are not releasing any information on the person infected, including what town they live in, due to privacy issues.

Montclair’s rise in cases over the the month are trending with the state, which is now seeing a third surge in COVID-19 cases. As of Oct. 28, the township reported 77 new cases for the month of October, compared to 55 new cases for the month of September. Total number of cases since the virus first surfaced in March are now at with 642.

Across New Jersey, new daily case counts have exceeded 1,000 for the second half of October, prompting concerns of a fall surge of COVID-19. Saturday, Oct. 24 saw 1,994 new cases: the highest number seen since early May.

State health officials reported 1,682 new cases and confirmed 14 new deaths on Oct. 28, bringing the state totals to 232,997 cases and 14,531 deaths. At the county level, Essex County health officials reported 280 new cases in total on Oct. 28, bringing the county total to 24,432. No additional deaths were reported in the county, with the total number of COVID deaths  at 1,913.

Between Oct. 19 and Oct. 27, New Jersey saw 9,138 new cases and 79 new deaths. In that same time period, Essex County has seen 1,437 new cases. The county also reported six new deaths, bringing the total to 1,913. 

The statewide virus transmission rate climbed in that time period from 1.13 to 1.26, and the state positivity rate rose from 3.36 to 4.48 percent. 

Twenty-one percent of New Jerseysans are still not picking up the call when contact tracers call.