Sussex County health officials reported five more deaths from COVID-19 on Monday, increasing the county's coronavirus death toll from the 114 last reported Saturday to a new total of 119.
The deaths included four males aged 36, 53, 73, and 73 from Andover Township, and an 82-year-old female from Frankford.
Sussex County health officials also reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, increasing the number of county residents who have tested positive for the virus from the 968 last reported Saturday to a new total of 987.
Details regarding the age, residency and gender of those newly contracting the virus were not provided by the county health division. However, a comparison between Monday's totals and the previously reported totals on Saturday indicates the 19 new cases included 5 in Andover Township, 4 in Newton, 2 each in Hampton, Sparta and Wantage, and 1 each in Hamburg, Hopatcong, Stanhope and Vernon.
Also Monday, the state Department of Health released adjusted totals for the county's long-term care facilities, at least five out of eight are now known to have been impacted by the virus. The breakdown is as follows:
Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center I: 52 cases, 13 deaths
Andover Subacute and Rehabilitiation Center II: 180 cases, 54 deaths
Barn Hill Care Center (Newton): 16 cases, zero deaths
Homestead Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center (Frankford): 61 cases, 11 deaths
Valley View Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center (Newton): 19 cases, 7 deaths
Some of the above numbers, which can include both patients and staff, may reflect record-keeping adjustments made to Saturday's totals. Additionally, county officials have indicated that one of the now-deceased staff members who formerly worked at Andover Subacute I also worked part-time at Barn Hill even though that person's death is not reflected in the Barn Hill totals.
United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen, in Newton, has also disclosed that two of its employees, but no residents, tested positive for the virus in early and mid-April and said the information was reported to the county health division. The New Jersey Herald is still trying to ascertain why that information has yet to appear in the official numbers released by the county and state.
Andover Township, whose 71 coronavirus-related fatalities are more by far than for any other municipality in Sussex County, is home to Andover Subacute, where more people have died from the virus than at all but one other long-term care facility in the state.
Frankford, with the second highest death toll in Sussex County at 11, has seen its entire death toll result from fatalities at the Homestead nursing home.
County health officials have also begun tracking the recovery rate from the virus and last reported on Saturday that 68% of those diagnosed have since made a full recovery, while 12% have died and 20% are still under investigation.
The cumulative total of all Sussex County residents now known to have tested positive for the virus, broken down by municipality, stands as follows: Andover Borough, 2; Andover Township, 189; Branchville, 5; Byram, 38; Frankford, 65; Franklin, 40; Fredon, 16; Green, 12; Hamburg, 23; Hampton, 28; Hardyston, 46; Hopatcong, 100; Lafayette, 11; Montague, 19; Newton, 79; Ogdensburg, 15; Sandyston, 6; Sparta, 98; Stanhope, 17; Stillwater, 11; Sussex Borough, 6; Vernon, 113; and Wantage, 48.
The breakdown of deaths is as follows: Andover Township, 71; Branchville, 1; Byram, 1; Frankford, 11; Franklin, 2; Hampton, 2; Hardyston, 1; Hopatcong, 3; Montague, 2; Newton, 8; Sandyston, 1; Sparta, 7; Stanhope, 1; Vernon, 6; and Wantage, 2.
County health officials also clarified that a positive case initially listed last week for Walpack has since been corrected and actually took place in Sandyston.
James McDonald, director of the county health division, said in an email that "when it first came in, it had a PO box in Layton and got assigned to Walpack by the system. When we added the street address the following day it was re-assigned to Sandyston."
McDonald did not say why the post office box in Layton would have made a difference since Layton itself is an unincorporated area situated wholly within Sandyston.
Eric Obernauer can also be contacted on Twitter: @EricObernNJH or by phone at 973-383-1213.