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10 new in-school COVID outbreaks increases N.J. total to 131 with 629 cases – NJ.com

New Jersey officials reported 10 new in-school outbreaks of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 131 outbreaks and 629 cases linked among students, teachers and school staff, according to the latest numbers Tuesday.

The outbreaks — defined as cases in which people were confirmed to have caught or transmitted the virus in the classroom or during academic activities — were reported in all 21 counties, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

One outbreak at an Essex County school was linked to 92 cases.

The names of the schools were not released to protect the privacy of the children and school staff members who tested positive, state officials said.

Gov. Phil Murphy said social distancing rules and safety measures designed to keep students and teachers safe in schools continue to work for the most part. But schools are “certainly not batting a thousand,” the governor said.

Murphy, who has said he does not want to order a statewide school shutdown, continues to allow local school districts to decide for themselves whether to hold in-person classes or switch to virtual learning. Some have yet to have any in-person classes this school year.

The Newark school district, the state’s largest district, pushed back returning to classrooms until April 12. Jersey City is extending all-remote learning until April 21 and Trenton has pushed the return to in-person classes to May.

Hillside’s school district has already announced plans to remain remote through the end of the school year.

Case rates for the coronavirus dropped last week in all six New Jersey regions tracked by the state and used by school districts to evaluate risk in educational settings.

But, for the ninth week in a row, all 21 counties are orange, indicating “high” coronavirus activity, according to data released by the state Department of Health Thursday.

New Jersey health officials on Tuesday reported another 4,117 confirmed cases and 133 additional deaths as the state surpassed 600,000 confirmed cases on the same day as hitting 600,000 vaccinations administered.

The state’s seven-day average for new confirmed COVID-19 positive tests is 4,416, down 13% from a week ago, and down 3% from a month ago, as numbers continue to show signs of the pandemic’s second wave starting to fall.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Newsletter | Homepage

The total number of school cases by county are:

  • Bergen County: 29 confirmed outbreaks and 121 linked cases
  • Camden County: 13 confirmed outbreaks and 66 linked cases
  • Salem County: 13 confirmed outbreaks and 43 linked cases
  • Cape May County: 8 confirmed outbreaks and 23 linked cases
  • Burlington County: 7 confirmed outbreaks and 24 linked cases
  • Gloucester County: 7 confirmed outbreaks and 41 linked cases
  • Monmouth County: 7 confirmed outbreaks and 21 linked cases
  • Cumberland County: 6 confirmed outbreaks and 14 linked cases
  • Passaic County: 6 confirmed outbreaks and 27 linked cases
  • Atlantic County: 5 confirmed outbreaks and 14 linked cases
  • Ocean County: 5 confirmed outbreaks and 42 linked cases
  • Sussex County: 5 confirmed outbreaks and 13 linked cases
  • Warren County: 5 confirmed outbreaks and 12 linked cases
  • Mercer County: 3 confirmed outbreaks and 14 linked cases
  • Somerset County: 3 confirmed outbreaks and 9 linked cases
  • Hudson County: 2 confirmed outbreaks and 10 linked cases
  • Hunterdon County: 2 confirmed outbreaks and 7 linked cases
  • Morris County: 2 confirmed outbreaks and 10 linked cases
  • Essex County: 1 confirmed outbreaks and 92 linked cases

The state’s totals do not include cases tied to school sports teams or cases in which contact tracers failed to conclude whether students and teachers caught the virus within their schools.

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Matt Arco may be reached at [email protected].

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