Verona Leads County COVID Case Increase


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Verona had a 8.26% increase in cases of COVID-19 in November, the largest increase of any municipality in Essex County for the month. According to data released by the county on December 1, Verona started November with 1,177 cases, a total that grew to 1,283 by month’s end. Verona has not had any additional COVID deaths since it recorded its 18th in May.

Fairfield had the second-highest increase in the county in November, at 7.81%, while Glen Ridge was lowest at 1.46%. Newark’s positives grew by just 2.55%. The county data does not distinguish between individuals who were not vaccinated when they tested positive and so-called breakthrough cases in people who were vaccinated. Dr. Thomas McCarrick, the chief medical officer of Verona-based Vanguard Medical Group, said this morning that it has seen “a good number” of breakthrough infections.

Verona’s vaccination rate has increased, but it remains below that of some towns that had lower percentages of COVID increases last month. According to the state COVID dashboard, 75% of all Verona residents are now fully vaccinated against the virus, up from 74% in mid-November. In Livingston, where 89% of the population is fully vaccinated, new cases rose just 4.96%. In Millburn, which is also 89% vaccinated, new COVID cases rose 5.44%. The County opened three of its vaccination sites (including the former Kmart store in West Orange) to children on November 3. All vaccinations and booster shots are free.

Verona has seen additional school COVID cases in recent days. The district has confirmed three new cases at H.B. Whitehorne, two at Verona High School and Brookdale Avenue elementary school, and one each at F.N. Brown and Laning Avenue. According to the district’s COVID dashboard, which is updated daily, there are now 32 school cases in quarantine, one third of which are at Brookdale. For privacy reasons, the district does not report whether the school cases are students or personnel. reached out to Dr. Lydia Furnari, interim superintendent, to see how COVID is stacking up against other usual fall health issues in the schools, such as lice, colds, stomach bugs and the flu. “It has been a typical year so far,” she said. “During the health emergency, we continue to monitor cold and flu-like symptoms closely, as they are also included in the list of COVID-19-like symptoms. As always, we work very closely with the Montclair Department of Health and our District physician. We also encourage members of our school community to refer to this CDC link for ways to protect their family from flu this Holiday season.”


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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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