Police chief calls Sparta’s infection rate ‘consistent’ as cases soar

Sparta. “It’s nothing new,” says police chief Neil Spidaletto. “It’s just more involvement, and we brought forth a few more points.”

Sparta /
| 05 Nov 2020 | 10:49

Even though Sussex County has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, Sparta’s infection rate has been consistent, township police chief Neil Spidaletto reported on Oct. 27.

Sparta has stayed at about 1.26 percent infection rate while Sussex County hovered at around 1.5 percent, he told the township council.

Still, health experts say the number has to get below 1.0 to slow the virus. Using the police chief’s numbers, each person in Sussex County with COVID-19 is infecting 1.5 other people, and each person in Sparta with COVID-19 is infecting 1.26 other people. Sussex County rates are skyrocketing, with numbers of new cases not seen since April (see chart). There were 54 new cases on Monday alone.

Spidaletto said the joint protocols with the Sussex County Department of Health and the Sparta Township School District have been helpful since a spike in September.

“It’s nothing new,” Spidaletto said. “It’s just more involvement, and we brought forth a few more points. We’ve stayed in dialogue with other entities within the school district, as well as Pope John, Sussex Tech, and Veritas.”

Township manager Bill Close said he is working on applying for a Covid-reimbursement grant of up to $94,000.

He also said the state Department of Health has formed a task force in in anticipation of a vaccine being developed. He said the task force would work on a plan for distribution.