Hundreds of people were tested for the new coronavirus at the newly opened testing sites throughout Paterson on Friday.
613 people were tested at three of the four sites, said mayor Andre Sayegh. 350 were tested at Eastside High School. 183 at John F. Kennedy High School. And 80 at School 18. Figures were not available for School 28.
Increase in testing will likely lead to a possible increase in daily cases. On Friday, health officials reported a daily increase of 25 infections – lowest daily increase in 50 days – bringing the total cases in Paterson to 5,835.
“We are now seeing old positive cases being reported as new. This can be attributed to multiple testing done at different labs. It is important that we find these cases and merge them so they are not counted multiple times,” said health officer Paul Persaud.
New cases have been steadily declining since the start of May. Officials attribute the drop to social distancing and aggressive contact tracing done by the battled-hardened Paterson Strike Team. The team gained experience handling two communicable disease scares last year which prepared them for the coronavirus pandemic.
Two new deaths were reported from Covid-19 on Friday bringing the total to 304.
Nursing homes in Paterson reported 58 virus cases with 8 deaths. Complete Care at Fair Lawn Edge has 26 confirmed cases with 7 deaths while Doctors Sub Acute Care has 32 cases and 1 death.
Mayor donates plasma
Meanwhile, Sayegh, who recovered after getting the virus four weeks ago, went to the American Red Cross center in Fairfield on Friday to donate blood plasma. Convalescent plasma is viewed as a way to treat patients suffering from the virus. A patient is given antibody-rich plasma transfusion to beat back the virus.
Sayegh hopes his plasma will help suffering patients attack and defeat the virus as he has done.
Breaking up gatherings
Police broke up group hangouts at seven street corners on Thursday. 44 people were issued summonses for failing to follow emergency regulations to curb the spread of the virus.
Paterson has the largest outbreak of the virus in Passaic County.
Passaic County has 14,930 infections with 816 deaths. Overall, New Jersey had 143,905 cases with 10,138 fatalities on Friday.
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