GLEN RIDGE, NJ — As towns in Essex County have kept track of how many of their residents have contracted COVID-19 during the global pandemic, Glen Ridge’s numbers stayed steady from the beginning of May through June 15. According to a borough Facebook post on May 31, there were 36 confirmed cases of coronavirus and eight deaths in Glen Ridge, but in a press release on June 25, Mayor Stuart Patrick said there have been four additional positive cases since June 16.
“Unfortunately, this reversal coincides with the outset of the state’s stage 2 reopening of our economy with its relaxation of the lockdown measures we have lived under for the past five months,” Patrick said. “This resurgence is not too surprising in view of what is now occurring in much of the United States — marches, large social gatherings, political rallies, etc., where clearly the use of masks, social distancing and sanitization protocols have been largely abandoned.”
Saying that the pandemic is not over and has not lost its virulence, Patrick asked Glen Ridge residents to maintain social distancing, wear masks when out in public and get tested for the virus.
“Be extremely thoughtful and deliberate in the decisions you and your family make as you attempt to regain more control of your lives and return to a more normal post-lockdown lifestyle,” he said. “We are all going to face tough daily choices, and the choices we make could have extremely serious repercussions for both our families and neighbors.”
Patrick brought up golf as an example. Restrictions allowing for only one person per golf cart, more only if they were family members, were recently lifted.
“The key question here is, does it make sense for you to ride with an acquaintance/stranger when neither of you are wearing a mask, maintain absolutely no social distancing, and are in constant physical contact with the other person and their equipment, or should you continue to ride alone?” he said.
“Does it make sense,” he continued, “to go to places where a major percentage of the attendees will very likely not be wearing masks or paying any attention to social distancing or disinfecting protocols? Please, let’s err on the side of caution so that we continue to move forward and not find ourselves again at the bottom of a rising and very deadly COVID-19 curve.”
In the release Patrick also noted the changes that have been made in Glen Ridge recently, including the opening of parks according to state regulations. Playgrounds at Carteret Park, Clay Field, Forest Avenue School, Linden Avenue School, Ridgewood Avenue School, Central School and the Carteret Park rink remain closed but will open soon. The Freeman Tennis Courts are open. Face coverings and social distancing is required when in the parks.
On June 22, the Glen Ridge Public Library began curbside pickup. Residents can request items from the library collection at www.glenridgelibrary.org, and, when notified, they can visit the library to pick up their bagged items from a staff member.
“I cannot find the words to adequately express my tremendous appreciation, and that of the Borough Council, to our police and ambulance members, our public works crew and administrative staff for all of their hard work and dedication to our community during this extremely difficult period,” Patrick said. “To our residents, please remain safe, stay the course, and thank you for your continuing cooperation.”