By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
Atlantic County Health Department today announced 118 new COVID-19 positives among 54 males, ages 8-91, and 64 females, ages 5-90. The county also reported two deaths of an 83-year-old Galloway Township man and a 96-year-old Linwood man.
According to Public Health Officer Pat Diamond, Atlantic County has seen a “rapid acceleration of cases that was unexpected.”
Most of the transmissions are coming from family gatherings, she told the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders Tuesday, Nov. 17.
Anyone who is displaying COVID-19 symptoms, such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue or a loss of taste or smell, and those who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, should get tested.
Atlantic County continues to provide COVID-19 testing by appointment for county residents at 617 Dolphin Ave. in Northfield, behind the county’s public works yard. Testing will continue to be held each Tuesday. Appointments can be made online at: https://www.atlantic-county.org/covid/
Diamond also recommended limiting holiday celebrations to immediate family members, mask wearing, 6-feet social distancing, frequent hand-washing and avoiding touching the face, nose and mouth.
The county has seven nurses on staff who will administer vaccines when they become available, and is reviewing locations to distribute the vaccine.
The vaccines would come directly from the manufacturer, but supplies to distribute the vaccine would come from the federal government. Orders will be placed through the state, similar to the process used during the H1N1 epidemic.
Although there has been an increase in the number of hospital admissions due to COVID-19, hospital stays have been shorter and fewer patients are being placed in intensive care units, Diamond said.
“They know what they are doing now,” she said about hospital staff and the treatments provided.
The county currently has 40 contact tracers, several of whom speak Spanish, and is reaching out to certain populations to offer education about the disease.
Daily and cumulative COVID-19 data is available at https://www.atlantic-county.org/covid/daily-counts.asp
Previous daily counts are available at https://www.atlantic-county.org/covid/daily-compare.asp