Mayor Andre Sayegh ordered the closure of all municipal parks on Tuesday evening as the number of people tested positive for the new coronavirus surged to 71 in Paterson, nearly doubling from the previous day.
Sayegh said the closures were a precautionary measure to enforce social distancing. Parks will be closed “until further notice” beginning on Wednesday. On Monday, a police officer tested positive for Covid-19. A week earlier, a fire captain tested positive for the virus.
Municipal officials issued two separate health alerts over the weekend urging people, who were likely exposed to the virus at a mosque on Knickerbocker Avenue and a Mustard Seed fundraiser in Clifton, to call their local health departments. As many as 200 people were exposed to the new coronavirus at the fundraiser that was hosted in mid-March.
A 69-year-old Paterson woman has died from the virus. She became the second virus-related fatality in Passaic County. An 86-year-old Passaic City man was the first, according to public records.
Passaic County had 216 cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday. Passaic County officials said a drive-through testing center is opening at William Paterson University on Wednesday. Center will operate daily from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or until test kits run out. Screening is available only to Passaic County residents with prescriptions.
Overall, New Jersey had 3,675 cases of Covid-19. 44 people have died due to the virus, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.