OCEAN COUNTY – Although a possible pending vaccine may be on its way for COVID-19, the Ocean County Health Department is urging residents to still follow precautions.
Recently, many states are experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases. The public health community is reminding people that the pandemic isn’t over and individuals should still take caution.
“We have to be very careful of a late stage increase in cases despite the news of a pending a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “You’ve heard the public health community say this a lot recently but everyone has got to stay the course and continue to adhere to all the safety precautions especially as people head indoors with the cooler weather and the holiday season fast approaching.”
Currently, Ocean County is recovering from a recent surge in cases. Between October 14 and October 28, Ocean County averaged 64 new daily cases with the exception of one day back on October 18. New Jersey is experiencing a rise in cases, with the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) reporting more than 2,600 cases on October 28.
“Ocean County has experienced a couple of positive weeks as far as cases,” explained Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer. “I think people in Ocean County realized we needed to be more vigilant with safety measures and we’ve had more people getting tested. The Ocean County COVID-19 Drive Thru Test site at Ocean County College has tested 10,877 residents so far in 31 weeks. The goal is to keep the downward trend going as we shift back indoors and people come together for holiday parties, shopping, religious services and other gatherings.”
With the holidays around the corner, the CDC has provided the following low risk tips to follow this holiday season:
● Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.
● Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family.
● Shopping online rather than in person.
● Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home.
● Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more from people you don’t live with. Be particularly mindful in areas where it may be harder to keep this distance, such as restrooms and eating areas.
● Avoid using restroom facilities at high traffic times, such as at the end of a public event.
● Avoid busy eating areas, such as restaurants during high volume mealtimes, if you plan to eat out at a restaurant.
● Minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, do not shake hands, bump elbows, or give hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet others
● Wear a mask at all times when around people who don’t live in your household to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
● Avoid singing, chanting, or shouting, especially when not wearing a mask and within 6 feet of others.
● Get a flu shot.
“Everybody has to make their own choice but we ask people to think about their health and the health of others during this festive time of year,” Regenye added. “If you haven’t received a flu shot yet, then now is the time. It won’t keep you from getting the coronavirus but it will help alleviate the burden on our health care system by reducing the number of people getting sick from influenza.”
For more information regarding OCHD Flu Clinics, visit ochd.org. For more holiday precaution guidance, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.