The County of Cape May Department of Health is reporting 1 new positive case among County residents below and 1 new out of county positive case that is included in the Non-resident Active Cases listed below.
Total positive cases of COVID-19 infection in Cape May County is now 1423 including 92 deaths.
Considerations for Events and Gatherings during a pandemic
As some communities in the United States begin to plan and hold events and gatherings, the CDC offers the following considerations for enhancing protection of individuals and communities and preventing spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Event planners and officials can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials, whether and how to implement these considerations, making adjustments to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Organizers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gatherings.
- · A gathering refers to a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, with a small number of people participating or a large number of people in attendance such as a community event or gathering, concert, festival, conference, parade, wedding, or sporting event.
- · The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.
- · The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering.
- · The size of an event or gathering should be determined based on state, local, territorial or tribal safety laws and regulations.
The risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:
Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear masks, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.
Targeting COVID-19’s spread
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is thought to be mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. It is thought that the virus may also spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose, mouth or eyes, causing infection. Therefore, personal prevention practices (such as handwashing, staying home when sick, maintaining 6 feet of distance, and wearing a mask) and environmental prevention practices (such as cleaning and disinfection) are important ways to prevent the virus’s spread.
These prevention principles are covered in this document. They provide event planners and individuals with actions to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread during gatherings and events.
Promoting Healthy Behaviors that Reduce Spread
Event planners should consider implementing strategies to encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 among staff and attendees.
- · Staying Home when Appropriate
- o Educate staff and attendees about when they should stay home.
- § Advise employees and attendees to stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
- § Advise employees and attendees to stay home and monitor their health if they have had a close contact with a person who has symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
- § Develop policies that encourage sick employees to stay at home without fear of reprisal, and ensure employees are aware of these policies.
- § CDC’s criteria can help inform when employees should return to work:
- § Consider developing flexible refund policies for attendees for events that involve a participation fee.
- · Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
- o Require frequent employee handwashing (e.g., before, during, and after taking tickets; after touching garbage) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence.
- o If soap and water are not readily available, employees can use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rub their hands until dry.
- o Encourage staff to cover the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- o Encourage attendees to wash hands often and cover coughs and sneezes.
- o Attendees often exchange handshakes, fist bumps, and high-fives at meetings and sporting events. Display signs (physical and/or electronic) that discourage these actions during the event.
- · Masks
- o Require the use of masks among staff. Masks are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult (e.g., when moving within a crowd or audience).
- o Provide all staff with information on proper use, removal, and washing of masks.
- o Advise staff that masks should notbe placed on:
- § Babies or children younger than 2 years old
- § Anyone who has trouble breathing
- § Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance
- o Encourage attendees ahead of the event to bring and use masks at the event.
- o Masks are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Masks are not meant to be a substitute for personal protective equipment such as surgical masks, respirators, or other medical personal protective equipment.
- o Masks are strongly encouraged in settings where individuals might raise their voice (e.g., shouting, chanting, singing).
Stay up to date on the current situation as it evolve. Some reliable sources are New Jersey Poison Information and Education System Hotline at 211 or 1-800-962-1253, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov, World Health Organization at www.who.int, New Jersey Department of Health at COVID19.nj.gov. For additional information visit Cape May County Department of Health at www.cmchealth.net and also like us on Facebook.