Number of COVID cases in Union County continues to rise

UNION COUNTY, NJ — As New Jersey continues its statewide lockdown to stem the tide of the novel coronavirus, the state continues to see more and more confirmed COVID-19 cases and COVID-related deaths. As of April 14, according to statistics from the state, New Jersey has had 68,824 confirmed cases and 2,805 deaths. All in all, health agencies across the state have reported administering 128,604 COVID-19 tests.

Union County is among the harder hit counties, with 7,265 confirmed cases and 238 deaths as of April 14. All school buildings and nonessential businesses in the county remain closed, in compliance with Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders.

In Hillside, the novel coronavirus took the life of former Mayor Sam McGhee, Hillside’s first black mayor.

“Mr. McGhee died one month shy of his 80th birthday,” Hillside Mayor Dahlia Vertreese said in an April 9 statement. “Please pray for Mr. McGhee’s family and all families who must not only process the unexpected death of a loved one, but the superfluidity of emotion and decision-making associated with the limitations imposed on last rites, shiva and all important funeral preparation by this crisis.”

According to Vertreese, as of April 9, Hillside had seen 261 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

In her April 13 video update, Union Township Mayor Michele Delisfort announced that the township has seen 880 confirmed cases of COVID-19. According to Springfield Mayor Chris Capodice in an April 13 update, Springfield has seen a total of 134 cases and three COVID-related deaths. According to an April 13 update from Cranford, the township has 208 confirmed cases and has suffered one fatality. As of April 11, the Roselle health officer reported that the borough has seen a total of 264 cases and four deaths. As of April 13, the Clark health officer reported a total of 128 cases in Clark.

According to Summit Chief Communications Officer Amy Cairns in an April 14 email, “The New Jersey State Department of Health has informed the city of Summit of five new positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Summit, N.J., bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 106.”

According to Kenilworth Mayor Linda Karlovitch, the borough has seen more than 60 cases already.

“In a further effort to keep us safe, Gov. Murphy has ordered all state and county parks closed. Due to the extremely high number of people congregating in them, we have also followed this rule in our community. All our parks are now closed to the public. Public safety is and continues to be our highest priority,” Karlovitch said. “There has been a high amount of latex gloves and masks in our recycling loads. These items are not considered household recycling and should be properly disposed of as trash. Under the advice of the CDC, I greatly encourage the use of masks or face coverings along with gloves when you are out in public, for your safety and the safety of those around you. Please dispose of these items after use in trash cans as well. There has been a large number of these items littered in parking lots and sidewalks.”

According to Roselle Park, as of April 10, the borough has seen 104 cases, with 10 hospitalizations. Two people have fully recovered and two people have died from the virus. In an effort to keep residents at home, Mayor Joseph Signorello III held a Mayor’s Stay-at-Home Challenge for residents, using the Zenly app to track locations. On April 12, Signorello announced the winners, saying, “These three awesome Roselle Parkers stayed home like champs over the last few weeks!”

According to an April 14 update from Linden, the city has seen 559 total cases and 24 total deaths.

“As each day passes, more people are tested and the numbers of those infected increases,” Linden Mayor Derek Armstead wrote in a statement. “We have lost so many Linden residents to COVID-19. Our hearts go out to those families as they mourn the loss of those they love. Please keep them in your prayers.”

In Rahway, as of April 13, the city had seen 299 confirmed cases and 11 deaths.
“Let’s keep the families and friends of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers, as well as those who are still fighting to beat this virus,” Mayor Raymond Giacobbe said. “As the numbers continue to grow, I continue to stress how important it is to continue following the guidelines set out, such as social distancing and wearing facial coverings when in essential businesses.”

Mountainside Mayor Paul Mirabelli, in an April 13 address, did not report how many people have the virus in Mountainside but took the time to thank all of the people caring for those who are ill and for the community at large.

“I want to start by thanking all of the doctors, nurses and other medical support staff who are on the front lines of fighting to save lives from COVID-19. These people are truly heroes. They risk their own lives in order to save lives. They miss time from their families so that they can protect your families from this terrible disease. They are to be commended for their heroic efforts,” Mirabelli said. “I also want to thank the countless other people who are working to provide food for our grocery stores, which include cashiers, baggers, other store support staff, as well as the individuals who work to transport and deliver valuable essential products, which include warehouse workers and truck drivers. Lastly, I want to thank our first responders, the police, the fire department and, most importantly, our EMTs and rescue squad. They must be commended in continuing to answer the call in the fight against COVID-19.”