Fourth confirmed, possible fifth coronavirus case identified in West Milford

West Milford. Township officials identified the third and fourth confirmed COVID-19 cases in the community Monday with a fifth possible patient undergoing testing. The fourth case, officials said, was a cafeteria worker at the high school.

| 23 Mar 2020 | 10:18

There are now four confirmed, and another possible, COVID-19 case in the township, officials said Monday.

In a Facebook post Monday afternoon, Mayor Michele Dale said there are now four confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the community including a cafeteria worker at West Milford High School.

Officials believe the woman is related to the town’s first case, a 42-year-old man, who was diagnosed with the virus last week, and remains hospitalized at Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains.

The other two confirmed cases are a 26-year-old male and a 35-year-old female healthcare worker.

Neither are hospitalized, and the cause of their exposure is not yet known, Dale’s post said.

Regarding the cafeteria worker, Dale said she is awaiting further details on the case.

“We are again gathering as much information as possible to notify anyone that was within six feet for more than 10 minutes of anyone who has had a confirmed case of Covid-19,” she said in the post. “The township nurse will be in contact with anyone whom was potentially exposed when the information becomes available.”

In a separate letter to parents, schools Superintendent Dr. Alex Anemone said the worker was being treated at a hospital, and that he could not release any further details due to privacy concerns.

He said her area was cleaned and disinfected and that other workers she came in contact with are now self-quarantined.

During the weekend, it was also announced that the 42-year-old man had attended a play at the high school on March 12, the night before the school closed down due to the virus.

As in the above case, health officials are tracing his movements to see if anyone he may have come into contact with is infected, officials said.

In addition, Dale said a female resident who is being tested for the virus at a hospital contacted her on Monday, which could be the fifth case in the township.

“We remain in constant contact with the health care professionals involved and will release other information as it is provided and permitted to be released in accordance with HIPPA,” Dale said in the post. “We are also tracking back, in accordance with standard protocols, all places the infected residents visited in the past two weeks and with whom the residents came into contact. We will be in touch with anyone who may have come in contact with these individuals and advise them they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and may need to self-quarantined.”

Dale said residents must remain vigilant and act if they were carriers of the virus, and remember to frequently wash their hands, refrain from touching their face and practice social distancing.

“I also implore you to remain at home as much as possible,” she said. “By working together, we can minimize the spread of this virus and help ensure we return to our normal routines as quickly as possible.”