OCEAN COUNTY – Despite a statewide Executive Order banning any social gatherings, people are still having parties and some non-essential businesses are still open.
These people are making it harder to slow the spread of COVID-19, and the Ocean County Health Department is telling people to call their local police on them. Executive Order 107 bans gatherings of 10 or more, in correlation with advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Social distancing is still required for any smaller gathering.
The health department has no authority to enforce residents to follow social distancing orders, said Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer. Yet the department is fielding a steady stream of calls and emails about these incidents.
“Many calls reference food establishments still offering sit-in dining, large group gatherings, weddings, etc.,” Regenye said. “Residents should know that social distancing is a very effective intervention to prevent the further spread and transmission of COVID-19 and is the message conveyed by public health agencies at the local, county, state and federal level.”
However, the health department can’t enforce the governor’s Executive Order 107, which bans gatherings of 10. That responsibility falls to the police department. Already, local police have shut down weddings and other parties, charging those involved.
“The Ocean County Health Department further advises residents that they should channel all those calls and concerns regarding noncompliance to their local police department which would be the proper enforcement agency on such matters related to the Governor’s Executive Orders and recommendations of public health related to social distancing,” he said.
For more information regarding health or social distancing measures, visit ochd.org or call 732-341-9700 ext. 7411.
Call the State Department of Health hotline available for medical questions at 1-800-222-1222 or dial 2-1-1.