County Covid-19 Reports

Beginning May 23rd, Camden County is no longer announcing new cases and deaths related to Covid-19 on weekends or holidays. All weekend cases and deaths will be announced on the next business day and will be properly attributed to the day they were received. As of Friday, May 29th, Merchantville had 44 confirmed cases of coronavirus and the Camden County Department of Health (DOH) announced 59 additional confirmed cases of the disease. This brings the aggregate number of confirmed positive cases to 6,588 in Camden County today and 320 total fatalities.

Immunity Passports?

As government leaders consider how to reopen society, officials in many countries have latched onto the idea of issuing “immunity passports” to people who have recovered from COVID-19. In the United States, immunity passports could “have some merit under certain circumstances,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN this month. However, the concept of immunity passports raises other concerns as they could become a condition for traveling on an airplane or attending concerts or sporting events or divide society into two groups: those who have immunity and can resume normal life, and those who are required to remain under lockdown.

US Deaths Top 50,000

On April 24, 2020 the number of American deaths from Covid-19 infections surpassed 50,000 and, as the month of April draws to a close, testing has yet to ramp up to the levels experts say would give an accurate picture of the spread of the coronavirus.  A survey of infectious 21 disease modeling experts and researchers by Thomas McAndrew and Nicholas Reich at the University of Massachusetts Amherst makes for sobering reading. The experts predict the U.S. death rate to increase to approximately 70,000 by May 9, and to reach 150,000 deaths by the end of the year.

Baby Sized Protection

If safety comes first, cuteness definitely comes second when it comes to a few precious photos coming out of Thailand during the coronavirus pandemic. Babies born at several of the Thailand’s hospitals are sharing photos of newborns who have been fitted with special plastic face shields - mini visors - to protect them from any risk of contamination from the coronavirus. The masks are designed to stop any droplets with the virus from coughs or sneezes from reaching the baby's face. Getty images uploaded a few photos by Lillian Suwanrumpha taken at Praram 9 Hospital in Bangkok on Thursday.

Comparing Covid-19 To Influenza

As we enter April the common refrain heard from some officials and others who sought to downplay the severity of coronavirus in February and early March - that it wasn't worth worrying about, because more people were likely to get sick or die from the flu than COVID-19 - may not stand up any longer. Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H., senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins, explains how the flu and COVID-19 are similar and how they are different. While both the flu and COVID-19 may be transmitted in similar ways, there is also a possible difference, COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route, meaning that tiny droplets remaining in the air could cause disease in others even after the ill person is no longer near. The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly. Since this disease is caused by a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be many months away. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19, but at present, it is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu.


The Harness Racing Connection

Three weeks after a Yonkers racing official became the first man from New Jersey to die of the coronavirus, horsemen continue to debate how widespread COVID-19 became in the harness racing industry. John Brennan, who was a fixture at Yonkers Raceway, became the first New Jersey resident to die from the coronavirus on March 10. Four members of a family with deep ties to harness racing then died over a six-day period in mid-March. State health officials have said the Fusco family deaths were connected to Brennan, who had an office in the heart of the facility where the Yonkers horsemen would congregate before races. While no one is blaming Yonkers Raceway for the outbreak among the racing community, some remain unconvinced transmission of those early cases occurred at the track.

Fauci & Noah on Covid-19

Trevor Noah from The Daily Show interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday, March 26th. Dr. Fauci shares his insight on what makes COVID-19 so insidious, busts myths about the virus, and breaks down why adhering to public health guidelines is so important. Dr. Fauci is an immunologist who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and is currently leading member of the administration's coronavirus response team/task force.

Coronavirus Rumor Control

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched a coronavirus rumor control website. The purpose of this FEMA page is to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis, stay informed with our updated myth vs. facts related to the federal (COVID-19) response. Myths such as: "There Is A National Lockdown And The Entire Country Will Be Quarantined For Two Weeks" are answered with Facts: "There is no national lockdown.  As with all information online or shared via social media, it is important to verify the source of the information."   

Stay Informed on Websites, Social Media

As we all take precautions to "flatten the curve" by social distancing during the coronavirus health crisis, the Merchantville community is stepping up to share local, county and state news and information on Borough websites and social media pages. Our municipality provides official government information to residents through their website, Facebook page and Twitter feeds @mayortedbrennan and @merchantville. Merchantville Online shares community, organization and business news, information and events on their website, Facebook page and Twitter feed. Additional community stories can be found on these Facebook pages: Shop MerchantvilleMerchantville Neighbors, Merchantville Matters and Merchantville Living. Updates can be found for Merchantville School on their website and Facebook page and St. Peter School on their website and Facebook page. Several churches are also using Facebook LIVE to provide services and information to parishioners. Visit Grace Church, St. Peter Church, First Presbyterian Church, Trinity United Methodist Church and High Place Church.

Please Stay Home

Many Americans have begun adjusting to life under social distance measures, staying at home and away from other humans as much as possible. But not everyone has hopped aboard the "flatten the curve" wagon, and healthcare workers have a message for those who haven't. Doctors and nurses have taken to social media to encourage people to abide by the recommendation to stay at home as much as possible. They want the public to know that if we fail at this, our healthcare system will be overwhelmed in the coming weeks with more critically ill patients than hospitals can handle. There won't be enough hospital beds. There won't be enough life-saving ventilators, and people will die who don't need to.

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