MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County authorities are reporting a moderate increase in the rate of COVID-19 cases, consistent with a statewide uptick, citing a correlation with increased indoor gatherings prompted by cooler outdoor temperatures.
“New Jersey is seeing moderate increases in community spread of COVID-19 and the New Jersey Department of Health has indicated that it is anticipating a second wave. There has been an increase in a transmission associated with gatherings, especially gatherings held indoors,” said Morris County Health Officer Carlos Perez.
As the weather turns cooler, people need to be reminded that indoor gatherings should be limited to immediate household members, he explained. Additionally, as people plan for seasonal holidays and celebrations, they should limit the number of close relatives and friends in attendance and, if possible, plan parties outdoors around a fire pit or patio heater, according to Perez.
The slight rise in county numbers was first reported at a Morris County Board of Freeholders meeting last week by Scott DiGiralomo, Director of Morris County’s Department of Law and Public Safety. He said the county remains vigilant and poised to assist the community should there be any significant resurgence of the virus, which had its greatest impact on the county back in April.
The County Office of Health Management and local health departments continue to perform essential duties to prevent the spread of infections, including enhanced surveillance and contact tracing, which is the process of identifying and notifying people who may have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 to prevent further spread of the disease.
“It is important that persons instructed to quarantine and isolate by their local health department and/or healthcare provider do so to prevent the spread of infection,” said Perez.
Contact tracers, he said, will not ask for social security numbers, bank or credit card information, health insurance information, immigration status, or criminal history.
“They are only following up about potential exposure to COVID-19 cases, to determine if a person has symptoms and needs to self-isolate. Report any calls from persons identifying themselves as contact tracers and requesting such information to your local police department,” Perez said.
Health professionals emphasize that COVID-19 is preventable if individuals:
1. Wear a cloth face covering when in public (both indoors and outdoors).
2. Practice social distancing (maintain a 6-foot space between you and others).
3. Follow good respiratory hygiene recommendations.
4. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands.
5. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or eyes with unclean hands.
6. Get a flu shot.
7. Stay home if you are sick and avoid sick people.
8. If you become ill, call your healthcare provider before going to a doctor’s office or emergency department of a hospital.
Planning to travel during the upcoming holidays?
Remember: There are 38 states/territories on a state-issued travel advisory list, and the list is updated and changes regularly. Anyone leaving New Jersey to travel to a state/territory on the travel advisory list should quarantine for 14-days upon their return to the state.