Ocean County has still not seen any cases of the novel coronavirus that has infected more than 90,000 people worldwide. There were more than 100 cases confirmed in the United States as of Tuesday night.
In Ocean County, officials said they had been monitoring 13 people who had traveled to areas where the virus was present, however none developed symptoms and all have been cleared. Four additional residents have been forwarded to Ocean County health authorities for follow up.
The Ocean County Health Department has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 virus’ spread, and has liaised with the sheriff’s department and state health officials to prepare for any cases that turn up in the county.
“The good news is that we learned so much from some of the recent emerging health issues such as Ebola, H1N1 and most recently, the measles outbreak last year,” said Freeholder Gerry Little. “Emergency readiness plans are regularly being updated and modified in the event any unique or special issues arise.”
Daniel Regenye, Public Health Coordinator for the county health department, said his office is in the process of “putting together agency and community-wide task forces to asses and reinforce local readiness.”
“On the county level, we’ve been in close communication with the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, superintendent of schools, our faith-based leadership, local law enforcement and public health providers to keep lines of communication open as we move forward,” Regenye said.
The county offered a few tips that residents can employ to help stop the virus from spreading, including:
• Wash your hands with soap and water regularly, for at least 20 seconds.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Stay home if you are sick and avoid sick people.
• Clean and disinfect regularly.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
• Review and follow CDC travel advisories when planning travel. If you become ill after returning home to the United States, call your healthcare provider before going to a doctor’s office or emergency department of a hospital. They may want to place a mask on you before you enter the building to protect other people.
• Get a flu shot – it’s not too late to be protected. OCHD is offering FREE flu shots!