DATA REVEALS HOW COVID-19 HAS IMPACTED OCEAN COUNTY

DATA REVEALS HOW COVID-19 HAS IMPACTED OCEAN COUNTY

How are Ocean County residents faring after 3 months of the pandemic?

(Toms River) – Now that we shift into the second phase of the New Jersey restart and reopen
plan, just how has the COVID-19 virus had an effect on the residents of Ocean County? As we
hover around 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ocean County heading into the third week
of July, what stories do the data tell the Public Health community about the coronavirus and how
will we continue to apply what we’ve learned moving into the next chapter of the pandemic?
“Since day one of the pandemic, the Public Health community has been closely monitoring the
data to identify any unique or significant trends that may initiate new policies, revise protocols
and guidance and to adapt to the ever-changing challenges the virus presents,” said Gerry P.
Little, Ocean County Freeholder and liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “It’s
especially important at this stage as we continue to strive from experiencing any serious
setbacks.”

A look at a portion of the significant data released by the Ocean County Health Department
(OCHD) as of July 10 reveals;

 The highest proportion of cases belongs to residents between the ages 19-44 with 3,330
people infected, or 34.15%. Individuals aged 45-64 make up 30.04% and the older adult
population over 65 years are slightly higher at 32.16%. Children under the age of 18 are
the lowest at 3.4% of the total cases.
 The median age for a resident to contract COVID-19 is about 54.2 years.
 5,135 females, or 52.66%, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 while 4,566, or
46.83%, are male.
 Sadly, out of the 9,751 total confirmed cases, the COVID-19 virus is responsible for 920
deaths, or just under 10%. No deaths have been reported for children and teenagers under
18. 780 residents over 65 years of age have died, that’s 84.75% of all cases. The median
age in this group is 81.4. Men represent 49% while women 51% of deaths.
 The most frequently reported underlying condition in cases resulting in death is
cardiovascular disease (30.6%), followed by diabetes mellitus (19.2%), chronic lung
disease (16.8%), other chronic diseases (13.7%) and cancer (4.8%).
 The number of positive cases for each municipality has been consistently a reflection of
their population densities.

In short, the data can dictate what the Public Health communities’ next move may be. When the
OCHD identified a critical need for more support and guidance for the 54 long term care
facilities in Ocean County it responded by dedicating special task force teams to assist the LTC
facilities and the most vulnerable population.

Anticipating calls from residents and clinicians with COVID-19 questions and seeking guidance
the OCHD established a COVID-19 hotline early in the pandemic. So far, the OCHD hotline has
fielded almost 7,000 calls and emails. The OCHD was also one of the first counties in the State
to implement a Contact Tracing/Disease Investigation Institute and it has investigated 98.3% of
positive cases. Another critical move was to set up a COVID-19 drive thru testing site. Testing
continues to be steady and just recently have accepted asymptomatic individuals and no longer
require a doctor’s order. 5,798 residents have been tested since March 27, 2020.

“These are just some of the major examples of how when we identified a need the OCHD was
able to gain the resources and cooperation from a variety of our public health partners and Ocean
County government agencies,” advised Daniel Regenye, OCHD Public Health
Coordinator/Health Officer. “It’s been a team effort all the way and moving forward we’ll all
continue to be proactive in anticipating the critical needs of the community.”

“The next task at hand is encouraging people to get tested and to do their part by wearing masks
and adhering to all social distancing guidelines,” added Patty High, OCHD Assistant Public
Health Coordinator. “The numbers are currently trending the right way but we still have a long
road ahead of us. It’s way too soon to get complacent.”

Residents can access much of the data sets regarding COVID-19 in Ocean County by visiting our
website at www.ochd.org. The OCHD COVID-19 Information Call Hot Line is 732-341-9700
ext. 7411. The NJDOH (NJPIES) hotline is available for questions around the clock at 1-800-
222-1222 or by dialing 2-1-1. For medical COVID-19 questions call 1-800-962-1253 (24/7) or
Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive alerts.

Additional information can be found at:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at
https:/ /www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/summary.html
or New Jersey Department of Health website at:
https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/ncov.shtml

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