South Jersey Coronavirus (COVID-19) Developments (October 22)

South Jersey Coronavirus (COVID-19) Developments (October 22)
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As the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic continues, New Jersey has become one of the hardest hit areas in the country. And while the bulk of positive cases in the state are concentrated near the Greater New York City area, South Jersey has seen its share of cases and thus changes to our everyday lives are being implemented in a cautious effort to keep us healthy and safe. (To see cases by county, visit here.)
 
We want to keep you updated on some of the major happenings both in South Jersey and across the state, while also looking at some of the headlines coming out of Washington, D.C. Here are some of the latest developments, but keep in mind that this situation continues to evolve rapidly and while we do our best at publication time, further updates are available and we are working hard to keep things updated as quickly as possible.
 
The latest numbers
COVID-19 testing continues in the tri-county region, and as of Thursday, October 22, the number of positive tests in each county are: Burlington, 8,608; Camden, 11,777; and Gloucester, 5,409. The state of New Jersey has reached 223,223 reported cases and 16,245 known and probable deaths. 
 
Transmission rate falls slightly
The rate of transmission—a key piece of data used to track the spread of coronavirus—rose from 1.13 to 1.15. The number means that for each person infected with the virus it is being spread to more than one other person. Any number above 1 means that the virus is spreading more widely. The rate has remained above 1 since Sept. 4.
 
Inside the hospitals
The 844 patients across 71 hospitals is 63 more than the night before. Of those, 175 were in critical care (nine more than night before) and 63 patients were on ventilators (one more than the night before).
 
Governor exposed to virus
Gov. Phil Murphy was at a Hoboken bar on Saturday night when he came into contact with a senior staff member who has since tested positive for the virus. The governor learned of the staffer’s positive test while at a local event at Camden County College. Both Murphy and his wife, Tammy, have tested negative for the virus but remain in self-quarantine.   
 
Visitation expanded
Every long-term care facility in the state that has gone 14 days without a positive coronavirus test can expand their visitation offerings for loved ones. A new directive allows for indoor visitation by appointment only. Any facility experiencing an outbreak will remain restricted from welcoming visitors. 
 
CDC revises “close contact” definition
Previously, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had stated that the virus could be transmitted by prolonged close contact with an infected person. That was defined as being closer than six feet for 15 minutes or more. Now, the CDC is revising that definition to include repeated close contact that cumulatively adds up to 15 minutes or more.  
 
“Coping with the coronavirus crisis has been difficult to say the least, but a resilient South Jersey continues to find a way.”

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Read More Information from South Jersey Magazine

“You can sense normalcy coming back to people’s lives in South Jersey. Restaurants are open for outdoor dining, various fitness studios were recently given the clearance to reopen and people are getting back to work—in the office.”
Read More Information from South Jersey Biz

“To continue our coverage series, we wanted to take a look at some more specific ways this crisis has affected us. From the selfless dedication of our local health care heroes to the various ways businesses are adapting to these changes.”
Read More Information from South Jersey Magazine
 
“Most parts of the United States are currently in the process of taking the necessary steps to reopen the stay-at-home orders. Gov. Phil Murphy and other governors from northeastern states—Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island—have formed a pact to work together on an approach to reopening the economies in a safe and responsible way.
Read More Information from South Jersey Biz
 
“Although there is no clear timeline for a return to normalcy, there is an overwhelming sense of community that this pandemic has created as people rise to the occasion with a steadfast resolve to see South Jersey come out of this stronger than ever.”
Read More Information from South Jersey Magazine
 
“With normal everyday business operations altered as employees are dispatched to work remotely, supply chains are interrupted and discretionary consumer spending has been slowed, the ability to adapt and implement strategic planning to limit vulnerability has proven to be a pivotal first defense in crisis management.”
Read More Information from South Jersey Biz
 
“At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19, and there are no medications approved to treat it. That means the best strategies to prevent the spread of the disease are common-sense actions everyone can take.”
Read More Information from Rowan Medicine
 
“We in Congress have already approved $8.3 billion in new resources to combat the Coronavirus, we just took action to ensure that everyone who needs to be tested can be free of charge and we’re expanding paid leave to provide economic security for workers if you or a loved one gets sick.”
 
“I’m working to ensure that our medical providers have the masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) they need along with the equipment necessary to administer COVID-19 tests. I will continue to fight to make sure that we are producing enough of the vital equipment necessary to keep health care professionals safe because those on the front lines must be protected.”
Read More Information from 1st District Congressman Donald Norcross
 
“You should self-isolate if you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath. Staying home is important. Do not go outside, to work, school, or other public places. Have enough supplies for 14 days.”
Read More Information from Burlington County Board of Freeholders
 
“While social distancing mandates in New Jersey and most states prohibit eating out in restaurants, it is generally considered safe to take advantage of take-out or delivery options currently offered by many restaurants. The risk of contracting anything from the packaging is low, however, it is a good idea to wash your hands after opening food containers the same way you should after unpacking groceries from the supermarket or items from a pharmacy.”
Read More Information from Cooper University Health Center
 
“The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, but it may be possible that a person can contract the illness by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.”
Read More Information from Camden County Board of Freeholders
 
“Disinfecting should be part of your usual cleaning routine, whether or not anyone at home is sick. Check the label to make sure the disinfectant works against the viruses you're targeting, such as cold and flu viruses. Disinfecting can be accomplished with a standard house hold bleach solution.”
Read More Information from Gloucester County Department of Health
 
“Our facilities are following the most current guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health authorities to appropriately screen, isolate and manage patients who meet the criteria.”
Read More Information from Inspira Health
 
“Our clinical teams have implemented screening procedures and are actively examining this continuously changing situation. Additionally, we are closely collaborating with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the New Jersey Department of Health to help ensure the well-being of our patients, colleagues, clinicians, and visitors.”
 
“If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your health care provider.”
Read More Information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 
“National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.”
 
People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. We advise people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.”
Read More Information from World Health Organization
 
Stay home when you are sick. Earned Sick Leave is the law in New Jersey. As of October 2018, employers of all sizes must provide full-time, part-time, and temporary employees with up to 40 hours of earned sick leave per year so they can care for themselves or a loved one.”
Read More Information from the State of New Jersey Department of Health
 
Here is a map, which combines data from the World Health Organization, U.S. and European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Health Commission of China, of confirmed cases, recoveries and deaths.
 
Take steps to protect yourself:
Clean your hands often
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Distance yourself from other people
Stay at home if you are sick
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow
Throw used tissues in the trash
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
 
© SouthJersey.com 2020. All rights reserved. This article or parts thereof may not be reprinted or reproduced by any other party without the express written consent of SouthJersey.com. For more information, please call 856-797-9910.
 
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For more Health information visit our South Jersey Health page.



Author: Peter Proko

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