Verona Hits 1,000 COVID Cases

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Essex County reported the 1,000th case of COVID-19 in Verona this morning. The tally represents all reported cases since the county began keeping statistics on the pandemic in March 2020.

The rate of new infections in Verona has slowed substantially in recent months. It is just 0.60% for July to date, down from 55.63%. last December. Verona’s infection rate is tied with North Caldwell for the fourth lowest in Essex County this month, behind Roseland (0.21%), Caldwell (0.48%) and Fairfield (0.56%). The rate of new infections has also fallen in several of the county’s poorest towns with Irvington and East Orange at 2.01% and 1.23% respectively. The highest infection rate in the county for July is in Glen Ridge at 4.09%.  Newark, which has had the largest number of cases in the county since the pandemic began, has a new infection rate of 1.13% for July.

But even small increases in cases are raising eyebrows in Trenton, where state health officials are monitoring the spread of the so-called Delta variant of COVID-19. Last week, the state reported a transmission rate of 1.37, the highest level since last November. (The transmission rate is the rate at which a defined population goes from susceptible to a disease to infected.) Deaths from COVID-19 are once again rising in the state and in Essex County, although Verona has not had a death since May 5. Essex County’s reports do not break out the impact of the Delta variant here.

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The rate of vaccination against COVID-19 has improved in Verona. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, 68% of all Verona residents ages 18 and older are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, up from 63% a month ago.

To encourage those who are not yet vaccinated, the county will offer vaccinations and testing without appointments at the former Kmart in West Orange beginning this week. The shots and tests will be available on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The County is also offering no-appointment shots and tests at Essex County College in Newark on Mondays and Saturdays during the same hours.

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