New Jersey has 182,970 total COVID-19 positive cases and 13,982 deaths. Total positive cases of COVID-19 infection in Cape May County is now 994 including 82 deaths. Additionally, there is 1 out of county positive case.
Contact tracing, a core disease control measure employed by local and state health department personnel for decades, is a key strategy for preventing further spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing is part of the process of supporting patients with suspected or confirmed infection.
In contact tracing, public health staff work with a patient to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact during the timeframe while they may have been infectious. Currently, the Health Department has 5 tracers from Rutgers and 15 tracers in-house for a total of 19. If you receive a call from a Health Department contact tracer the purpose is to warn the exposed individuals (contacts) of their potential exposure as rapidly and sensitively as possible. In order to stop the spread of the disease it is important to answer all contact tracer questions accurately and completely.
Contacts are provided with education, information, and support to understand their risk, what they should do to separate themselves from others who are not exposed, monitor themselves for illness, and the possibility that they could spread the infection to others even if they themselves do not feel ill. Being the contact of someone who had close contact with a COVID-19-postive person does not require testing.
For example, if you have a coworker whose family member is a confirmed case, you are not necessarily at risk. Despite coming into contact with the coworker, you did not have close contact with the person who actually has COVID-19.
Contacts are encouraged to stay home and maintain social distance from others (at least 6 feet) until 14 days after their last exposure, in case they also become ill. They should monitor themselves by checking their temperature twice daily and watching for cough or shortness of breath. To the extent possible, public health staff should check in with contacts to make sure they are self-monitoring and have not developed symptoms. Contacts who develop symptoms should promptly isolate themselves and notify public health staff. They should be promptly evaluated for infection and for the need for medical care.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying health conditions. Stay up to date on the current situation as it evolves. Some reliable sources are New Jersey Poison Information and Education System hotline at 211 or 1-800-962-1253, 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 COVID19.nj.gov. For additional information visit https://capemaycountynj.gov/ or Cape May County Department of Health at www.cmchealth.net, also like us on Facebook.