The CDC director and several other government officials testified before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies and reported that face masks may provide more protection than coronavirus vaccine. Face coverings are “the most powerful public health tool” the nation has against the coronavirus and might even provide better protection against it than a vaccine, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told lawmakers Wednesday. “We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said, “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take a Covid vaccine.” Redfield also predicted that it will take “six to nine” months to get every American vaccinated, saying the U.S. should have enough doses to return to “regular life” by the third quarter of next year.
According to WHYY, New Jersey reported another 518 cases of coronavirus on Friday, September 11th, bringing the cumulative total over the last six months of the pandemic to 195,888 positive cases. The state also reported another nine deaths related to the virus, bringing the total to 14,234 confirmed fatalities and 1,789 probable deaths from COVID-19. The state’s rate of transmission was 1.08, meaning for every 100 people testing positive, the virus spreads to 108 more people. Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli noted that young people are driving new cases through large social gatherings as well as the return of some college students to campus. People aged 14-18 accounted for 4% of the new positive cases, and residents between the ages of 19-24 made up 6% of new cases. Camden County urges youth to make sure they keep their friends and family safe through a new ad campaign - "Protect Your Circle".
As of 7/28/20, travelers from 36 states and two territories who are arriving in New Jersey are asked to self-quarantine and/or get a COVID-19 test. The list includes frequently visited states like Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. People arriving in New Jersey from a state with a COVID-19 positive test rate higher than 10 infected people per 100,000 residents, or a state with a 10-percent-or-higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average, are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days or get a COVID-19 test when they arrive, and self-quarantine until they get the results. The travel advisory does not apply to people briefly passing through states on the list (stopping at highway rest stops; layovers for air, bus, or train travel). Complete information available here.
The Merchantville Fire Department and Police Department want our community to know how much they appreciate the generosity shown by the individuals and businesses they protect. This past week they offered Facebook "shout-outs" for the PPE provided by Cindy Zimmerman and the Camden City School Nurses who sewed face masks for the patrol division and, the New Jersey Young Democrat Labor Caucus donated KN95 masks to the fire department. Last week Flying Crust Pizza & Wings dropped off a delicious at the firehouse on May 31st, the Brejcha Family provided lunch to the firefighters on May 29th and, Mission BBQ for brought lunch to our police officers on May 27th. Thanks for feeding and protecting those who keep us safe.
Governor Murphy signed new Executive Orders to further NJ's aggressive efforts to enforce social distancing. All non-essential construction across New Jersey will CEASE, indefinitely, effective 8:00 p.m. Friday. Exceptions include projects at our hospitals and schools, in our transportation and public utility sector, the building of affordable housing, other individual housing sites that can adhere to strict limits on the number of workers on-site, and other limited instances.
We’re also aiming to mitigate overcrowding at essential retail stores – particularly in our grocery stores. Under this Executive Order, all essential retail must indefinitely limit the number of customers allowed in their stores to NO MORE than 50% of their approved capacity. Additionally, customers & employees must wear face coverings. Stores must also provide special shopping hours for high-risk individuals, erect physical barriers between customers and cashiers and baggers where practicable, regularly sanitize areas used by their employees, & more. And, moving the date of our primary elections from Tuesday, June 2nd to Tuesday, July 7th.
On April 5th, just one month after recording its first infection, New Jersey now has at least 34,124 known cases of the coronavirus, including 846 deaths, as state officials announced 4,331 new cases and 200 new fatalities from a global outbreak that’s expected to keep worsening in the coming days. The state is testing only symptomatic people and reporting an average of only 5,000 tests a day, which officials attribute to a lack of manpower and supplies from the federal government. Governor Murphy has ordered residents to stay at home, called on people to keep practicing social distancing and washing their hands. “This pandemic is writing one of the greatest tragedies in the state’s history," Murphy said. Camden County currently has 481 cases, with 8 deaths.
Yesterday Dr. Deborah Birx emphasized that hotspots will see an increase in deaths over the next 6-7 days and the next two weeks will be crucial for the effort to flatten the curve and, unless it's essential to leave home during the next 14 days, Americans shouldn't. “This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store,” she said, “not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family safe. And that means everybody doing the six-feet distancing, washing your hands.” She noted that she can tell by looking at the US curve of coronavirus cases that not every American is following the guidelines set out by the administration for people to stay home and be vigilant about washing their hands.