Press Release                                            March 23, 2020

Cape May County Health Department reports 2 more cases of Covid-19 in Cape May County

Today, a 71 year-old woman and a 50 year-old male were tested positive for Covid-19 in Cape May County which makes the current total 5. These new positive cases indicate that Covid-19 is circulating throughout the County and is a reminder that social distancing and quarantine controls are the best measure in controlling this disease.

Over the weekend, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, states that due to the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), testing of Covid-19 should only be done on the following groups:

  • Those that are hospitalized
  • Symptomatic Health Care Workers
  • Seniors in Long-term care facilities or with pre-existing health conditions

All over the country health officials are indicating a change in local strategy when it comes to coronavirus testing, recommending that doctors avoid testing patients except in cases where a test result would significantly change the course of treatment.

Last week, New York City health officials issued an urgent alert to healthcare providers, asking them to stop testing patients who did not require hospital care for COVID-19. The use of PPE for testing noncritical patients has created a serious shortage of personal protective gear like N95 and surgical masks, gowns and gloves for doctors and nurses and other hospital staff. As a result, healthcare workers across the country have taken to social media to plead for donations of protective gear.

A shortage of PPE will cause our health care workforce to reach a breaking point very soon, forced to make uncomfortable decisions that could include resorting to makeshift protection. These improvised methods are not the protection that our health care personnel need. If they are unable to protect themselves properly, they will begin to experience increased infection that will cause illness and an inability to work safely. This avoidable reduction in staff would further strain hospital capacity and result in a reduction of patient care.

As a result, it is important for all residents to stay at home and if sick, quarantine from other household members. If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, follow the Center for Disease Control steps below to help protect other people in your home and community.

Stay home except to get medical care

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.
  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people in your home, this is known as home isolation

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Limit contact with pets & animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.

Stay up to date on the current situation as it evolves. Some reliable sources are New Jersey Poison Information and Education System hotline at 1-800-222-1222, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov, the World Health Organization at www.who.int, the New Jersey Department of Health at www.nj.gov/health . For additional information visit Cape May County Department of Health at www.cmchealth.net, also like us on Facebook.