CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ -- New Jersey reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 raising the state total to 50. Another 80 cases are under investigation at State labs. The New Jersey Health Commissioner, Judith Persichilli said a that 16-year-old girl from Bergen County, a 66-year-old woman from Essex County, a 51-year-old man from Morris County, a 23-year-old man from Somerset County and a female from Bergen County all tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. Twenty-three additional cases have been confirmed in the state including residents in the following counties: Bergen, Monmouth, Middlesex, Passaic, Union, Burlington, and Camden.
In addition, on Tuesday March 10th, health officials reported that a man in his 60s from Bergen County was the state’s first coronavirus death. The victim was a 69-year-old male with a history of diabetes, emphysema and several other conditions.
“It appears that there is now community spread of the virus in some areas of New Jersey,” said Kevin Thomas, Health Officer for Cape May County. For that reason, preventative measures to restrict the spread of this virus in the community have been recommended by the Cape May County Department of Health.
In order to collectively respond and introduce effective actions a Cape May County Coronavirus Task Force was established that aids in the coordination of efforts to monitor, contain, and mitigate the spread of the COVID – 19 Coronavirus, while ensuring that residents of Cape May County have the most accurate and up-to-date health information. The task force consists of officials from Cape May County government, municipal officials, US Coast Guard, Cape Regional Medical Center, EMS, OEM, long term care and the superintendent of Cape May County schools.
To date, the following proactive measures have been established Countywide:
- Crest Haven Nursing home has restricted all visitors from entering their facility.
- A travel ban for employees going outside of the county has been enacted, effective 3/10.
- All public events scheduled in which the public would be attending are suspended, effective March 16.
- County employees are restricted from attending meetings with the public.
- The Cape May County Park & Zoo is open, exhibits will be closed to visitors.
- All Cape May County Senior Centers are closed until further notice, effective March 16.
- All Election Board Polling Classes have been canceled until further notice.
- Cape May County Heath Care Resource Day scheduled on April 4 has been canceled.
- Events scheduled at all branches of the Cape May County Library are canceled until further notice. The libraries will remain open.
- Reporting requirements have been suspended for all participants in the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program (SLAP) through March 31, 2020.
- The Cape May County Park/Zoo will continue to remain open. However, all the exhibit buildings will be now be closed and not accessible to the public
- All US Coast Guard recruits confined to base and no graduation ceremony
Additionally, the Cape May County Health Department strongly urges the general public to take the following advice:
- Cancel or postpone all large student and faculty events including large student events, field trips, travel and sporting events.
- School absenteeism surveillance system created to monitor prevailing illness rates
- Recommendation to cancel large gatherings of 250 or more people
- Even if you are not ill, do not visit hospitals, long term care facilities, or nursing homes, or other settings with vulnerable populations. If you do need to visit one of these facilities, limit your time there and keep 6 feet away from all patients and employees of the facility at all times.
- Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms such as cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your primary care doctor first for instructions.
- If you are sick, stay home and away from others in your household to the degree you are able.
- Practice excellent personal hygiene habits including washing your hands with soap and water frequently, coughing into a tissue or your elbow, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Stay away from people who are ill, especially if you are at higher risk for serious illness.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (like doorknobs and light switches). Regular household cleaners are effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you’ve just washed your hands.
- Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress to keep your immunity strong.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Stay up to date on the current situation as it evolves. Some reliable sources are New Jersey Poison Information and Education System hotline at 1-800-222-1222, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention atwww.cdc.gov, the World Health Organization at www.who.int, 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.