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COVID-19 UPDATES: Atlantic County reports 26 new cases, 5 deaths

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Atlantic County health officials reported 26 additional COVID-19 cases and 5 more deaths on Wednesday. The deaths included two Galloway men, a 67 and 70-year-old, a 64-year old Atlantic City man, a 91-year-old Egg Harbor Township man and a 94-year-old Pleasantville woman.

According to county health officials, four of the five had pre-existing conditions. The countywide total of COVID-19-related deaths is 236.

Of the 26 new cases, there were 10 males, ages 6-52, and 16 females, ages 3-66. There were four cases each in Absecon, Atlantic City and Egg Harbor Township, three each in Galloway and Pleasantville, two in Hammonton and one each in Egg Harbor City, Hamilton Township, Linwood, Margate, Northfield and Somers Point.

The countywide total of positive cases is 3,475. An additional 15 residents have been cleared as recovered for a total of 1,926, or about 55%. 

Atlantic County will continue to provide testing at its drive-thru facility in Northfield at Rt. 9 and Dolphin Avenue, behind the county public works yard, each Tuesday in August from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

The test site is 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. Appointments can be made here.

Cape May County health officials reported seven new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including one non-resident. In total, the county has 971 cases and 81 deaths. No new deaths were reported Wednesday.

All testing centers are by appointment-only with or without insurance. Testing centers include the Cape May County Department of Health and CompleteCare Drive-thru, Cape Regional Urgent Care centers, Upper Township CVS, AtlantiCare Health System and Wildwood Rite-Aid.

Two downtown Vineland events, the 29th annual Cruise Down Memory Lane and the Food Truck Festival, scheduled for August 23,  have been canceled due to COVID-19. The Run The Ave 5K and the annual Pumpkin Patch Party are still scheduled. The 5K is scheduled for September 13 and the Pumpkin Patch Party is scheduled for October 31.

“It was with deep regret that we had to cancel the Cruise Down Memory Lane and the Food Truck Festival—two of our most successful downtown events. We do not take such actions lightly, but we face unusual times this year and we always believe that safety and health come first,” said Main Street Vineland Executive Director Russell Swanson. “We want to thank Newfield National Bank, a longtime supporter of Main Street Vineland and its initiatives, for maintaining that loyalty through these difficult times. It is truly appreciated,” he said.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday asked residents to use “personal responsibility” and “common sense” after warning people against attending house parties as “dozens” of COVID-19 cases are being traced to those events.

“We’ve all had our routines turned upside down for the past four months and we want to blow off some steam with friends,” Murphy said during his daily briefing with other state officials. " ... But, folks, we cannot, we simply cannot, continue to have crowded house parties. They are not safe. Period.

“They are how coronavirus gets passed around more efficiently,” he continued. “They put the hard work we’ve all undertaken together — the millions of us — since March at risk of being undone.”

He cited house parties in Long Beach Island and Jackson, both in Ocean County, as recent examples of crowded indoor gatherings that had led to positive tests.

Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said there have been several indoor and outdoor gatherings “have led to community clusters of COVID-19.”

She mentioned a graduation party in Cape May County at the end of June that led to 46 positives cases among New Jersey and Pennsylvania residents ages 16 to 23.

“This is a reason why we have had to hit pause on expanding the restart of more indoor activities, like dining and health clubs, where people are more likely to be indoors for a longer amount of time, not wearing masks and more likely to be in one place for a longer amount of time,” he said. “I’m not going to say that indoor dining is like a house party, because it isn’t, but when one party in an air conditioned house leads to dozens of new cases, it should give us all pause.”

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey has increased by 489, bringing the total to 180,766, Murphy said. There have been 18 additional confirmed deaths, bringing the state total to 13,923.

In addition, there are 1,875 probable deaths.

There are 761 people hospitalized across the state, including 116 people in intensive care and 49 people on ventilators, Murphy said.

“We are not out of the woods yet by any means,” Murphy said. “Think of it this way – every new positive test is a person who could potentially end up in the hospital or worse yet, in intensive care and please, God, not lose their lives. Every new positive test is also a person who could spread this disease even unwittingly to others and push our transmission rate even higher.”

So far, Atlantic County has reported 3,449 cases with 231 deaths and 1,911 cleared as recovered. Cape May County has reported 964 cases with 81 deaths and 723 designated off quarantine. Cumberland County has reported 2,688 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.

Also during the briefing, Murphy went over the newest list of states from which travelers should quarantine for 14 days. No states have been taken off the list.

The 36 states and territories include Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin

Visit covid19.nj.gov/travel for the most updated list.

In addition, the state Motor Vehicle Commission has worked through more than half of the backlog created by the three-month closure, which is more than 350,000 transactions, he said.

“Again, we urge everyone with business before the Motor Vehicle Commission to check online to see if your transaction can be done from the comfort of your air-conditioned home,” Murphy said. “If so, skip the trip entirely.”

Visit njmvc.gov for more information.

Ocean Casino Resort recently filmed a series of TikTok videos featuring various team members around the property to create awareness for UNICEF’s #OneLoveOneHeart initiative, according to casino officials.

The purpose of the #OneLoveOneHeart campaign is to bring people together to help children and their families recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and to rebuild a better world from it, officials said in a news release.

Ocean will be posting their TikTok videos featuring its team members as well as TikTok videos filmed for the campaign for the next three Wednesdays - July 29, August 5 and August 12, officials said. In addition to the TikTok videos, Ocean will be displaying a heart on its iconic ball at the top of the hotel tonight (July 29) in support of the initiative.

“One love. One heart.” Bob Marley’s everlasting message about the power of love and solidarity is more important than ever as families face the COVID-19 pandemic and millions call for equality. UNICEF is teaming up with the Marley family, Tuff Gong International and Amplified Music to reimagine the iconic song One Love – bringing people together to help children and their families recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and to rebuild a better world.

For more information on the #OneLoveOneHeart campaign, visit the UNICEF website - www.unicef.org/reimagine/one-love.

For more information about Ocean Casino Resort visit their website at TheOceanAC.com,

State officials scheduled a 1 p.m. briefing Wednesday to update residents on the spread of COVID-19.

Appearing for the briefing will be Gov. Phil Murphy, Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, State Epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan and State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan.

Then, at 4:15 p.m., Murphy is scheduled to call in to WCBS 880 to discuss the state’s response to the new coronavirus.

So far, Atlantic County has reported 3,449 cases with 231 deaths and 1,911 cleared as recovered. Cape May County has reported 964 cases with 81 deaths and 723 designated off quarantine. Cumberland County has reported 2,688 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.

GALLERY: Stockton University prepares Galloway campus for fall 2020 reopening

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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