Essex County COVID Cases Remain 'Very High:' See Town Updates

Tom Davis

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The coronavirus continues to take a grim toll on Essex County, impacting local businesses and schools in the region, according to updated state data (see town-by-town update below).

The state Department of Health's most recent "COVID-19 Activity Level Report," which is issued weekly, says Essex County is in the “red zone” for coronavirus cases.

Essex County reported a 10-month total of 47,699 cases on Saturday, an increase of more than 2,282 from the previous week.

Essex is among a number of counties that have started vaccination programs, announced immunization sites or both. Read more: Updated Information As Essex County COVID Vaccine Sites Announced

The “red zone,” meanwhile, means the daily new COVID-19 virus case rate, per 100,000 people, rose to "very high" in all 21 counties. That means they exceed 25 cases per 1,000 people.

The latest reports say the overall coronavirus activity level also rose from "moderate," or “yellow,” to "high," or “orange,” in recent weeks in all 21 New Jersey counties.

With the rise to a "high" level, state officials said, school districts in those counties may have to take more serious steps — such as quarantining or even shutting down schools — if a child shows the symptoms of COVID-19.

"When it is high-risk, there are some recommendations that we make together with local school boards," said Edward Lifshitz, medical director for the state Department of Health.

Indeed, a number of school districts have shifted to remote instruction as the numbers have risen.

The overall coronavirus risk rose to "high" in each of the counties because:

  • The new daily case rate in each of the counties rose to 10 or more per 100,000 people.

  • The percent of COVID-19-like illnesses rose above 5.52 in each of the counties.

  • The percent of positive cases rose above 10.01.

Essex County officials provided the following breakdown of cases by town:

  • Belleville 3199

  • Bloomfield 3035

  • Caldwell 318

  • Cedar Grove 910

  • East Orange 3895

  • Essex Fells 115

  • Fairfield 508

  • Glen Ridge 175

  • Irvington 2655

  • Livingston 1071

  • Maplewood 686

  • Millburn 424

  • Montclair 1201

  • Newark 21686

  • North Caldwell 223

  • Nutley 1514

  • Orange 1988

  • Roseland 263

  • South Orange 388

  • Verona 482

  • West Caldwell 583

  • West Orange 2705

This article originally appeared on the Newark Patch