Patrick urges continued caution as COVID numbers rise again

GLEN RIDGE, NJ — Mayor Stuart Patrick urged residents to continue to follow social-distancing guidelines and other COVID-19 protocols in a letter to the community on Nov. 5, citing spiking cases of the virus in town and across the state. According to Patrick, the number of positive coronavirus tests in Glen Ridge has risen by 38 percent over the last two and a half months.

According to the county’s daily COVID-19 briefing, by Nov. 10, Glen Ridge had seen 64 positive coronavirus cases, increasing from 63 just the day before. Glen Ridge has lost nine residents to the virus, as of press time on Nov. 10.

“With the rising number of cases, it is absolutely imperative that we continue to work together as a community and do everything we can to prevent the further spread of this insidious disease,” Patrick said in the letter. “As another point of reference, the Essex County seven-day average positive COVID-19 count has risen from 32 cases on Oct. 1 to 245 cases on Oct. 30.”

Patrick outlined a list of safety precautions residents in town should be taking, including quarantining when traveling and isolating when symptomatic.

“If necessary, quarantine if exposed, or if returning from travel or college in areas with high levels of the virus, as designated by the state of New Jersey,” Patrick said. “Stay home — isolate — if we become ill with signs and/or symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or while waiting for a COVID-19 test result that clears us to go out. Get tested promptly if we experience signs and/or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.”

He also said to remain aware of the risks involved when going to gatherings and reminded residents to wear masks.

“Value the health of others as well as our own health as we go about our essential activities, such as securing necessary health care, schooling, work and shopping. In this way, these activities can be as safe as possible for everyone until there is a safe, effective and available vaccine to prevent infection, disease or serious disease outcomes,” Patrick said. “Remain aware of the risks involved in the activities we engage in and understand that such risks not only impact ourselves, but also affect our family, friends, teachers, businesses and other community members.”

In the letter, the mayor talked about “COVID fatigue.”

“All of us have heard of ‘COVID-fatigue,’ and many of us are undoubtedly experiencing it. We hope that our community efforts to contain this virus will increase and reestablish the awareness that we are all in this pandemic together and hopefully lessen that fatigue through solidarity,” he said. “While we all desperately want things to be ‘normal’ again, COVID-19 is still a very real threat, so that when one of us engages in a high-risk activity, we make it less safe for everyone else. This is the reason why it is so important for all of us to continue to follow all COVID-19 safe practices and protocols.”