Maplewood Coronavirus Numbers Decline in April; Two More Residents Pass Away

by Courtney Plaza
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Maplewood COVID-19 cases declined in April, according to Health Officer Candice Davenport, who gave a Board of Health report at the Township Committee meeting on Tuesday.

As of April 30th, 2021, Maplewood has had a total of 1,509 cases of the Coronavirus, Davenport said. There were 143 cases in April, in comparison to about 275 in March, and both months saw about four hospitalizations each. The total number of COVID-19 deaths has now reached 36, after two Maplewood residents passed away since March.

Davenport explained that “we need to get to…herd immunity, which is reached between 70-80% of the community.” Currently, 43% of people in Essex County have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 24% are fully vaccinated.

“We really need to encourage people to please go and get [their] second dose, and we still have to make an effort to get more people vaccinated,” Davenport said. “The testing location on Springfield Avenue is accepting walk-ins on Monday-Friday, from 9am-4pm, and appointments can be scheduled at Free drive-through and walk-in testing is also available at

Davenport announced a community canvas initiative this Saturday, May 8th, from 10am-12pm, “to encourage people and make them aware that they are eligible for the vaccine, and where and how they can register.” Those interested in volunteering should contact Taliah Jeffers at 973-309-4178 by Thursday, May 6th.

Davenport also announced Maplewood’s third annual Summer Meals Program in collaboration with the township of Irvington. From June 28th to August 20th, breakfast and lunch will be available every Monday-Friday at the Maplewood Park gazebo next to the Hilton Branch Library.

In other TC news:

  • In honor of the elderly and Asian communities in Maplewood, committee members began by recognizing the month of May as both Older Americans Month and Asian Americans Pacific Islanders Month. Mayor Frank McGehee said, “As a community, we must do our part to speak out against racism and stand up to hate wherever it may exist. For our Asian siblings, that begins with acknowledgement and changing the overall tone of our collective conversation.”
  • Rachael Metka, Environmental Advisory Committee Member, presented a proposal to extend the temporary ban on gas-powered leaf blowers and phase them out entirely over the next two years. Doctor Rhee Rosenman-Nesson explained that “using a leaf blower can cause permanent hearing loss”, which “is a significant, often unrecognized, health problem among U.S. adults.” Gas-powered leaf blowers also contribute to noise pollution, toxic emissions, and environmental damage, as they promote the removal of important solitary pollinators and topsoil. Community member Veda Truesdale voiced her support for the proposal: “A temporary ban is confusing, and it’s extremely frustrating for me, as a homeowner…because it gets violated, and it gets violated constantly.” Multiple other community members shared their support for Metka’s proposal, which has been advocated by some Maplewood residents for the past 20 years.

The following ordinances were voted on:

Ordinance #3027-21

  • To establish the terms and procedures for the off duty employment of Maplewood police officers
  • All committee members voted to hold a hearing on May 18

Ordinance #3028-21

  • To adjust the hours that Maplecrest Park will be open to be consistent with other parks within the Township and will also adjust certain uses within Memorial Park
  • All committee members voted to hold a hearing on May 18

Ordinance #3029-21

  • To exceed the municipal budget appropriation limits and to establish a cap bank
  • All committee members voted to hold a hearing on May 18

A full article on the budget is forthcoming.

See the full meeting agenda here.


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