“There is only one way to interpret the current trends we are observing with regards to the number of new COVID-19 cases in Camden County, and across the state: we are at the beginning of a very difficult period in this pandemic. This is a critical inflection point in this battle, it is increasingly clear that we cannot continue with business as usual if we have any hope of minimizing the damage that this virus will do in the coming months.
Yesterday, the Camden County Health Department announced more newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our county than have ever been announced in a single day. Equally troubling, the average of new cases over the past seven days, a metric used to provide a more accurate reflection of current trends than daily fluctuations, reached its highest mark of the pandemic at 130.
I know this pandemic has not been easy on any of us. More than 580 families in our community have been torn apart by this disease. More than 13,000 of our friends, family, and neighbors have been infected and face uncertain long-term effects that we are only just beginning to understand. Countless others have been challenged by struggling businesses, lost wages, and the toll to mental wellbeing that accompanies times of increased stress and anxiety. We’d hoped to be nearly past this pandemic by November, instead we are charging back into the lion’s den.
Today, I am calling on every Camden County resident to reassess their role in preventing the spread of this disease. We have to return to the war-like mindset we embodied in the spring. We should be staying home as much as possible, avoiding gatherings with others, and taking every other possible precaution to avoid contracting and spreading this virus. There is no scenario where we get through this crisis safely without taking these steps.
The guidelines for protecting yourself and others have not changed, but observing them has become a much more urgent requirement than it was during the relatively safer summer months. If a reminder is needed as to what these guidelines are, then we will be continuing to provide one on a near daily basis.
- DO NOT hold or attend indoor gatherings. The virus spreads much faster indoors than outdoors.
- DO NOT leave home if you are feeling sick. This includes when you believe your symptoms to be related to allergies, a cold, or other non-coronavirus conditions. The symptoms of this disease are myriad and varied.
- ALWAYS wear a mask when you are indoors or within six feet of others.
- ALWAYS try to maintain at least six feet in separation from others, even when you are wearing a mask.
- ALWAYS work with our contact tracing team when they call.
We will get through this second wave just as we did the first one, but if we want to keep our economy open, keep our hospitals operating under peak capacity, and keep our death toll from climbing, then we have to take individual responsibility for our actions in the coming weeks and months.
In the coming days and weeks, we will be making additional announcements regarding our response to this crisis, including new locations for testing, and continued programs intended to support families and residents. In the meantime, please stay safe, stay healthy, and let’s beat this together.”