CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ -- The Cape May County Department of Health is working in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Health, and Center of Disease Control to address, monitor and keep residents protected and informed about the new coronavirus (COVID-19). As of Thursday, February 27, 2020 there have been no COVID-19 cases reported in Cape May County or New Jersey. However, should this outbreak become widespread throughout the United States then a greater level of public health safeguarding measures will be employed to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of this virus.
“Although there are no cases of COVID-19 in Cape May County, planning and preparation for this public health threat is essential. The health of our residents and visitors is our number one priority,” said Freeholder Jeffrey Pierson.
“Presently, the current risk to the Cape May County residents of contracting this virus is considered low. Nevertheless, this department is taking proactive precautions by monitoring the situation, enhancing disease surveillance, educating and updating area healthcare providers,” said Kevin Thomas, Health Officer.
Over the past few weeks, Cape May County Department of Health has taken a number of steps to protect the public, including:
- Contacting healthcare providers and stakeholders throughout the county with regular updates and education material.
- Reaching out to schools with information on current disease guidelines, hand hygiene and healthy habits.
- Establishing a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pamphlet and webpage found under Hot Topics at http://www.cmchealth.net, or by calling (609) 465-1200.
- The New Jersey Department of Health is also providing information to residents, and has set up a 24/7 public hotline with the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System at 1-800-222-1222.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. There are several known coronaviruses that infect people. The virus usually only causes mild respiratory diseases, such as the common cold. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. There are currently no proven treatments or vaccines for this respiratory disease, so it is important to contact your doctor if you have traveled and are experiencing any of these symptoms. Since it is cold and flu season, you may experience similar symptoms to the coronavirus.
Center for Disease and Control (CDC) suggests the following precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and all respiratory infections, such as colds and flu.
Methods of prevention include:
- Stay home when you are sick. Wait 24 hours until you no longer have a fever without using a fever reducing medicine.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, hand sanitizer may be used if not available.
- Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth.
Encourage proper cough etiquette. Cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw directly into the trash. Use sleeve or arm if tissue is not available. Do not use your hands.
- Perform routine surface cleaning, particularly for items which are frequently touched such as doorknobs, handles, remotes, keyboards and other commonly shared surfaces.
Stay up to date on the current situation as it evolves. Some reliable sources of information are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov, the World Health Organization at www.who.int, and the New Jersey Department of Health at www.nj.gov/health . For additional information visit Cape May County Department of Health at www.cmchealth.net, also like us on Facebook.
Natalie Sendler, Director of Public Health Nursing
Phone: (609) 465-1200