First Cresskill Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19; Residents Respond


Isabella Jiang, Editor in Chief

Approaching 3PM on Friday, March 20th, the Cresskill Fire Department posted a press release from Cresskill’s Office of Emergency Management Coordinator to its Instagram account (from which communication on local management of COVID-19 has primarily issued).

The terse statement relayed sobering news: a Cresskill resident, whose identity is presently being withheld for patient privacy reasons, has tested positive for COVID-19. Mayor Benedict Romeo was notified of the same on Friday.

“We will continue to monitor and keep our community informed as we receive confirmed cases,” the press release stated in closing.

Cresskill locals had been awaiting this news with bated breath.

“I’m not surprised,” says Haeun Park, a student at Cresskill High School. “[The news came] kind of later than I thought, to be honest,” she adds.

Cresskill native Enoch Jiang agrees. “My initial reaction was one of finality, to be honest,” he says, “as almost every town in the county has at least one or two positive cases by now, and there are undoubtedly many more undiagnosed cases — so it was just a matter of time before a test came back positive.”

“It’s like we were waiting for the other shoe to drop,” says Mei Huang, another resident. “I thought that sooner or later it would happen in Cresskill,” she continues, “based on the current situation — New York City is seeing so many cases — and based on how Cresskill has a lot of people who work in Manhattan and commute from there every day.”

“Based on the rate that the virus spreads,” she adds, “I think we’ll have more cases soon.”

But the lack of surprise amongst residents doesn’t translate to lack of concern — far from it. 

 “It still makes me a little more nervous just to know that someone categorically has COVID-19 within this small town,” Jiang admits. He reflects that although the news was “expected,” he won’t be slow to act in the matter of taking additional precautions. In light of the heightened risk, he says, “I’m going to further scale down my interactions with the outside world — I may not go beyond my front or back yards.”