A fresh record has been set in the daily Covid-19 cases in Paterson, topping the previous record set a week earlier.
Municipal officials reported 301 new cases on Sunday. Previous daily case record was set on November 22 with 285 infections.
“The case count in Paterson continues to climb; I would urge those that are not practicing social distancing to start doing so. Also, it is very important to avoid social gatherings at this time. For those who may have come into close contact with someone with a SARS-CoV-2 infection, remain in quarantine and get tested 5 days after the last close contact,” said health officer Paul Persaud. “Testing before 5 days may result in a negative test. An early negative test may actually embolden someone to ease off prevention measures and eventually start spreading the infection. So, do not test before 5 days of last contact.”
Heath officials had predicted the second wave of the coronavirus would be worse than the first. In April, during the first wave of the pandemic, Paterson had a peak daily case count of 262.
355 people have died from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Persaud also urged young people take the virus seriously. “It is also important that younger folks exercise personal responsibility and self-quarantine from the onset of symptoms to avoid spreading infection to those that are at risk of serious illness,” he said.
Municipal officials have put in place a testing regime and a contact tracing program to reduce the transmission of the virus.
A midnight curfew is also in place for businesses to curb late-night gathering at bars and nightclubs. But that has led to the growth of after-hours parties in various parts of Paterson.
Councilman Luis Velez said the double shooting that occurred early Sunday morning at 321 Market Street resulted from an after-hours party. When police responded to the shooting scene, they were met by a large crowd of people. Large gatherings spread the new coronavirus.
Velez said there has been a dearth of enforcement.
“Last night, I had a unit specifically going out to target after-hours locations throughout the city,” said public safety director Jerry Speziale. “We believe they are popping up and they are a problem. We’ll be focusing on them to stomp them out.”
Speziale said it’s difficult to locate the after-hours parties.
“I could see it and I’m not a cop,” said Velez. “They need to step up to the plate. The criminals are laughing.”
Speziale urged residents to report after-hours parties by calling police.
Speziale said residents can call (973) 910-1255 to report after-hours parties. He said residents should leave a message with location and other information. Information will be kept confidential, he said.
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