Summit Weekly COVID-19 Case Count Released; Vaccine Update

Caren Lissner

SUMMIT, NJ — The city of Summit said last week that the Westfield Regional Health Department reported a total of 89 positive COVID-19 cases for the first week in January, from Jan. 1 to Jan. 7, for a total of 1,060 total positive confirmed cases since March 2020. Total case numbers are updated and adjusted weekly following contact tracing interviews.

Two weeks ago, the city announced the total cases for all of 2020: 971. Of those cases, 237 people tested positive in December.

The total death toll from coronavirus among Summit residents remains at 18, with the last reported fatality in October.

Of the 89 cases investigated by the Regional Health Department, the age breakdown is as follows:

  • 15 cases ages 18 and younger;

  • 18 cases ages 19 to 29;

  • 8 cases ages 30 to 39;

  • 12 cases ages 40 to 49;

  • 18 cases ages 50 to 59;

  • 10 cases ages 60 to 69;

  • 3 cases ages 70 to 74;

  • 4 cases ages 85 to 89; and

  • One case age 90 to 94.

This coming Tuesday, some nearby towns, including Westfield, will participate in a day of remembrance for COVID-19 victims.

New vaccination information

The Union County Board of County Commissioners announced on Wednesday the opening of an online registration system at www.ucnj.org for those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

The registration system will only log those who are currently eligible to receive the vaccination. Those who are ineligible to receive vaccinations right now will not be allowed to pre-register, and must wait until they are eligible.

On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy said that people 65 and over will be vaccinated as part of the second phase of vaccinations, phase 1B, as well as people 16-65 who have certain health conditions (read more here). They were allowed to register starting Thursday.

The state has already begun vaccinating front-line workers, nursing home workers and residents, and certain other essential workers (including police and firefighters) as part of phase 1A.

The county is offering the Moderna vaccine. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, including the Moderna vaccine, are a new type of vaccine that doesn't include the weakened virus, but teaches human cells to make a protein that triggers the immune response (read more about that here).

You can sign up at www.ucnj.org.

The state's goal is to vaccinate 70 percent of the adult population – or 4.7 million adults – within six months.

Gov. Phil Murphy reportedly said last week that he'd like to start vaccinating the general public by Memorial Day.

State and national trends

As of Wednesday, more than 382,000 Americans had died of the virus. (You can see which states had the highest death toll in the past week on this CDC map.)

New Jersey had its highest new case total ever from last Wednesday to Thursday, and a daily death toll of 123 people. More than 17,000 across the state have passed away from the virus.

This was the first time New Jersey topped 100 fatalities for three days in a row, since May.

Gov. Phil Murphy said 3,488 people are hospitalized with the virus statewide, 668 on ICU, 469 on ventilators. He also said 459 coronavirus patients were admitted to hospitals and 449 discharged.

OTHER TRENDS

HOW TO GET HELP WITH HEAT, RENT, AND MORE

  • During the State of Emergency in New Jersey, no tenant is permitted to be evicted from their home or apartment for the inability to pay rent. Talk to your local mayor's office if you are experiencing difficulties.

  • The CARES act has made money available to help with rent in each city. More information is here.

  • New Jersey residents can get help with heating and energy bills. Information is here.

  • Various other avenues of relief and benefits have also been made available, including family leave for 12 weeks if you can't work due to your child's school or camp being closed, and changes to unemployment rules to help those who were at a job for a short time, or freelancing.

LONG-TERM CARE

  • Recently, there were 159 long term care facilities with active outbreaks, the state Department of Health said last month. The state announced that deaths at the facilities had more than doubled since May 1.

  • New Jersey residents became alarmed at the high number of residents who have passed away in nursing homes, rehabs, and similar facilities. The state announced plans in May to increase testing at some long term care facilities.

  • The state released death toll statistics in spring for long-term care facilities like rehabs and nursing homes. See the list here.

  • You can report problems with long term care facilities here, or if you suspect coronavirus related misconduct, here.

  • Some New Jersey long-term care facilities reopened for limited visits, with precautions, in July.

  • Facilities began receiving the coronavirus vaccine in December and January, starting with a long-term care home in Old Bridge in December. Read about one Summit nursing home vaccinating residents and staff here.

Here are statewide coronavirus resources:

  • NJ COVID-19 Information Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/

  • General COVID-19 questions: 2-1-1

  • NJ COVID-19 hotline: (800) 222-1222

Got news? Email caren.lissner@patch.com. Got photos? Please include express written permission from the photographer for us to use them. To be the first to get free news alerts with breaking stories in Summit, or to get a free local newsletter each morning, sign up for Patch breaking news alerts or daily newsletters.

This article originally appeared on the Summit Patch