Camden County officials held a presentation on Nov. 5 to report on the increased spread of COVID-19 across South Jersey, with one marker reaching an all-time high..
As of the presentation, held virtually and livestreamed from Camden County College, the county had a total of 13,092 positive COVID cases, with 581 total deaths. Of total cases, 1,572 have been among residents of the county’s 56 long-term care facilities, while another 673 are cases among staff at those facilities.
Led by Freeholder Jeff Nash, the presentation highlighted the recent surge of positive COVID cases across the county as winter approaches.
“Let me start by diving right into a discussion of the pandemic and the trends that we are seeing in Camden County and the new cases,” he said. “The COVID-19 virus is transmitting through our community right now at a very rapid pace, much more rapid than we would like to see under any given circumstance. But we are now reverting back to trends that we have not seen since March and April.”
Nash reported that the county may be experiencing a fall surge experts previously warned could be seen as a “‘second wave” of COVID cases. Looking at previous county data, Nash said increasing positive cases are reaching levels unseen in the county, even at the beginning of the pandemic.
“Several weeks ago, during one of our updates, we highlighted the beginning of a worrisome trend regarding coronavirus cases,” Nash added. “During the week of Oct. 10, we had 338 new cases in Camden County, which at that time was a 41-percent increase in the number of new cases reported over the prior week.
“By comparison, we have now already had 463 new cases in just the last four days, and I am told that, today, we have already reported well over 200 cases in one day.”
Nash also noted that Camden County is averaging approximately 111 new positive cases per day, the highest seven-day average within the county since the pandemic started.
While most cases are reported as not severe, according to Nash, positive cases are still increasing hospitalizations across South Jersey, while isolated cases have disrupted schools, athletic teams, workplaces and other areas in recent.weeks.
“With this in mind, I urge every resident to immediately take extra precautions to protect themselves and their families, as this spike is now in our midst,” Nash advised.
He cited several recommendations from the county health department that are part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID, with the most important being to avoid holding indoor gatherings.
“First and foremost, do not host indoor gatherings … Based on the work of our contact tracers, (indoor gatherings) are the number-one cause of the spike of the pandemic,” Nash warned.
“We expect this to be a hot topic of discussion as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday; Thanksgiving this year may look a little bit different. We’ve always enjoyed having friends and family join us indoors for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner … perhaps this year, we have to be much more cautious.”
Nash recommended any gatherings with families and friends should be outside and groups should still practice social distancing and keep numbers small when outside. He also cited the health department’s recommendation that individuals wear masks at all times around others.
“At the end of the day, if you ignore this advice, no one is going to come and get you in trouble,” Nash added. “But if you are ignoring this advice, you are truly at risk for getting the virus yourself or perhaps giving it to others.”
For the full virtual COVID-19 update, visit www.camdencounty.com.