COVID numbers continue to rise in Glen Ridge

GLEN RIDGE, NJ — Just over a week after elementary schools in Glen Ridge reopened after being closed for two weeks because of positive cases of COVID-19, Superintendent Dirk Phillips announced on Dec. 23 that an individual at Linden Avenue School tested positive for the coronavirus. In addition to the LAS case, five other people within the district tested positive for COVID-19; they have not been in the district in person in December and so did not affect school safety operations. Individuals who had contact with the positive case at LAS were contact-traced.

According to Phillips in the announcement, the district has seen a total of six new positive virus cases since Dec. 14; one at Central School, three at LAS and two at Glen Ridge High School. No new cases were reported at Forest Avenue School or Ridgewood Avenue School.

However, four of the district’s five schools have had people quarantine as a result of the virus, the only exception being GRHS, because students who attend the school are learning remotely until after the holiday break. Central saw six people go into quarantine, while there are eight from FAS, 10 from LAS and 18 from RAS doing the same.

On Nov. 30, the high school reported 14 positive cases stemming from members of an athletic team, in addition to five separate cases. Phillips told The Glen Ridge Paper in an email on Dec. 11 that he would not identify the team publicly.

“It is a difficult time for families that have members who have been infected with COVID-19,” Phillips said in a letter to the community on Dec. 2. “They are dealing with the illness and the unknown of how severe their condition may become. I ask that we keep in mind the well-being of the individual and respect their privacy.”

As of press time on Dec. 29, no updates from the school district have been shared since the Dec. 23 announcement.

COVID-19 numbers in the borough also continue to rise, with the borough now counting 169 positive cases, as of Dec. 31 numbers from Essex County. Glen Ridge has seen nine COVID-19–related deaths. Countywide, Essex County has seen 47,146 cases as of Dec. 31, and 2,142 deaths.