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COVID-19 UPDATES: Cape May County reports 5 new COVID-19 cases

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Cape May County health officials reported five new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including three that are non-county residents. To date, the county has reported 964 cases and 81 deaths.

Cape May County government is taking steps to reduce its expenditures during these unsure times, according to news released Tuesday by the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Those changes include a 10 percent reduction through the end of this budget year for operating expenses and capital budget items. All new bonding for capital projects has been tabled. There has also been a general moratorium on uncommenced hiring, the Freeholders said.

County government is taking these steps to ensure it continues in good financial footing. COVID-19 shut down many businesses in the state for months and forced many to make tough decisions, the Freeholders said.

Cape May County remains on solid financial footing currently.

Gov. Phil Murphy added three more states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to the growing travel advisory list. All individuals traveling to New Jersey from the listed states, that are seeing a significant spread of COVID-19, should quarantine for 14 days. The three additional states include Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota. The travel advisory is a partnership between New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. To see a full list of states, click here.

Two Hamilton Township men, a 57-year old and another of unknown age, are the latest fatalities attributed to complications of Covid-19, according to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health.

County health officials also reported 31 additional residents were confirmed positive for Covid-19 today, according to Atlantic County public health officials. They included 21 males, ages 11 months to 79 years, and 10 females, ages 1 year to 73 years.

Nine of the new cases were found in Pleasantville, seven in Atlantic City and three each in Egg Harbor Township, Galloway and Hammonton. The following towns each had one new case: Absecon, Buena Vista Township, Egg Harbor City, Hamilton Township, Linwood and Ventnor.

Today’s cases bring the countywide total to 3,449 residents who have tested positive for Covid-19, with 1,911 who have been cleared as recovered and 231 who have died.

Atlantic County will continue to provide Covid-19 testing at its drive-thru facility in Northfield at Rt. 9 and Dolphin Avenue, behind the county public works yard. The test site is now available for both symptomatic and asymptomatic county residents with or without a doctor’s prescription. Residents must make an appointment for testing and provide proof of county residency and appointment confirmation.

The New Jersey Department of Corrections has launched Phase 2 of its universal COVID-19 testing initiative for inmates and staff who previously tested negative, according to a news release.

Approximately 10,600 FDA-approved Rutgers saliva tests are administered by Rutgers University Correctional Healthcare and the NJDOC Special Operations Group once weekly for an indefinite period of time for staff and a 28-day cycle for inmates, at which point testing will be re-evaluated, officials said.

“We’ve made great strides managing the virus with the implementation of the state’s largest testing initiative, in concert with the Department’s virus mitigation strategies, that include, for example, masking, temperature checks and modifications to group activities,” said Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks, Esq. “Testing is a game-changer, with Phase 2 informing how and when we resume certain activities, such as visitation, classroom instruction, worship services and psychoeducational groups in a way that’s safe for all involved.”

The Department has approximately 29,000 test results to date that includes about 5,700 retests of inmates with results informing the placement of positive cases within its system, officials said. At the height of the pandemic, there were more than 800 cases of COVID-19 across NJDOC facilities; today, there are less than 30.

Announcements on the resumption of select activities, such as visitation, will be made available on the agency’s website, www.njdoc.gov.

Join Together Atlantic County and Atlantic Prevention Resources will be hosting two free 15-minute "Child Break" webinars via Zoom.

The webinars, in collaboration with Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey,  will take place 7 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Aug. 5, according to a news release.

They will be a one-hour interactive, multimedia webinar that will inform, encourage and empower you to effectively communicate with children about the danger of drugs and alcohol, officials said. Parents, grandparents, caregivers and those working with children are encouraged to participate.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic it's more important than ever to communicate with the children in our lives, and to empower those who have children," according to the release. "The webinar will cover underage drinking, marijuana use, opioids and prescription drugs, vaping trends, tips for effectively talking to children and teens about healthy decisions, helping children manage stress, and utilizing teachable moments."

“Parents who talk to their children about their activities an average of 15 minutes a day have children who are 67% less likely to try marijuana," according to the release.

To register for Thursday's webinar, visit http://createsend.com/t/y-DADD561DFD9DC97C . To register for the August 5 webinar please visit http://createsend.com/t/y-A8F7F58BE2A5DE58.

Cape Regional Health System received a $1,500 donation from Bob Noel's State Farm Agency, located in Cape May Court House.

The donation has been designated for Cape Regional's COVID-19 Relief Fund established in early April to support the Health System's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The outpouring of support by the Cape May County community has been such an inspiration to our team," said Tom Piratzky, Cape Regional Foundation's executive director. "We want to express our gratitude to Bob Noel and his team for their financial and community support during these unprecedented times."

For more information on the Cape Regional Foundation or how to support the Cape Regional COVID-19 Relief Fund, call Piratzky at 609-463-4042 or visit www.caperegional.com/foundation/covid19-fund

Gov. Phil Murphy is scheduled to make an announcement at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The details of the announcement were not disclosed, but he is set to make it at A-List Hair Studio, 2140 US-130, North Brunswick.

So far, Atlantic County has reported 3,418 cases with 229 deaths and 1,911 cleared as recovered. Cape May County has reported 959 cases with 81 deaths and 723 designated off quarantine. Cumberland County has reported 2,675 cases with 144 deaths.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Contact: 609-272-7241

mbilinski@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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