The County of Cape May Department of Health is reporting 1 new positive case among County residents.
Total positive cases of COVID-19 infection in Cape May County is now 1422 including 92 deaths.
Promoting Behaviors that Reduce Covid Spread
Retirement communities and independent living facilities can use several strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- · Staying Home or Self-Isolating when Appropriate
- o Educate residents, workers, volunteers, and visitors on when they should stay home or self-isolate in their living quarters.
- Actively encourage those who are sick to stay home or in their living quarters.
- Residents, workers, volunteers, and visitors should stay home when they have confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
- Those who have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health.
- Develop flexible and non-punitive policies that encourage sick individuals to stay at home without fear of reprisals, and ensure workers are aware of these policies. Offer telework options, if feasible.
- Educate both facility-based workers (including ancillary staff such as dietary, recreational, and environmental services), consultant personnel (e.g., housekeeping, sitter, barber), and volunteers who provide care or services in the facility. Inclusion of consultants in all efforts is important, since they commonly provide care in multiple facilities and can be exposed to COVID-19 or serve as a source of transmission. Workers or volunteers who visit multiple locations should be encouraged to tell facilities if they have had exposure to other facilities with recognized COVID-19 cases.
- CDC’s criteria can help inform when workers should return to work:
- If they have been sick with COVID-19
- If they have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19
- · Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
- o Recommend and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol can be used.
- Reinforce handwashing in between interactions with residents as appropriate.
- Encourage covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- · Masks
- Recommend and reinforce use of masks among residents, workers, volunteers, and visitors. Masks should be worn whenever feasible and are most essential in times when social distancing is difficult, such as during personal care activities (e.g., cutting hair). Individuals should be frequently reminded not to touch the mask and to wash their hands Information should be provided to all residents, workers, volunteers and visitors on proper use, removal, and washing of masks.
- Note: Masks should not be placed on:
- Babies and children younger than 2 years old
- Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
- Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance
- Masks should be worn correctly and washed before reuse.
- Residents with early dementia or other cognitive disabilities living in retirement communities or independent living facilities with a caregiver (e.g., spouse) may require assistance with wearing a mask or even be unable to comply with wearing one properly.
- Masks are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.
- Masks are not personal protective equipment (PPE) and should NOT be worn by workers instead of a respirator or surgical mask if more than source control is required.
- Persons with symptoms of mental disorders, including anxiety, phobias, or panic attacks, might have trouble breathing using a mask, and this should be avoided. Efforts should be made to eliminate these types of adverse outcomes while still helping the individual utilize CDC recommended COVID-19 prevention strategies like wearing a mask if it is possible and can be done safely.
- A mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
- · Social Distancing
- · Encourage social distancing by asking workers, residents, volunteers, and visitors to stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart both in common areas and individual residences.
- · Adequate Supplies in Common Areas
- Support healthy hygiene behaviors by providing supplies, including soap, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, masks (as feasible), and no-touch/foot pedal trash cans.
Stay up to date on the current situation as it evolve. Some reliable sources are New Jersey Poison Information and Education System Hotline at 211 or 1-800-962-1253, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov, World Health Organization at www.who.int, New Jersey Department of Health at COVID19.nj.gov. For additional information visit Cape May County Department of Health at www.cmchealth.net and also like us on Facebook.