(Toms River) – The weather is warming, the birds are chirping and we are all feeling a little case
of cabin fever. But don’t let the alluring signs of spring keep you from doing your part by
practicing proper social distancing.

“Some individuals may not be taking the social distancing guidelines too seriously, or are taking
short cuts,” advises Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department Public Health
Coordinator/Health Officer. “That’s why the OCHD believes it’s a good time to make another
strong push to get the message across just how much social distancing can work by limiting the
spread of the COVID-19 to others. Regenye informs us, “There is no need to panic, and the
public health community was expecting the numbers to rise as more people are being tested. We
need everyone to do their part while we are all on the frontlines of this outbreak.”

“So many people are doing a great job, despite the inconveniences, by following the critical
social distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene guidelines provided by the CDC and our
health department,” explains Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean
County Board of Health. ”Right now we are asking everyone to just step it up a notch because
not only do we have a responsibility to protect ourselves but we also have a responsibility to
protect others by staying home and avoid gatherings with other people even with the weather
warming up.”

One thing scientists have learned about the COVID-19 virus is that it is much like the seasonal
flu bug because it’s spread through droplets when sneezing or coughing. It is imperative people
fight the urge to shake hands, give hugs and forget to consistently wash their hands.

“Adhering to the 6 foot rule can actually save lives. It’s not easy for most of us to isolate
ourselves from family and the people you live with – especially if those people live with a child
or are a caretaker,” Regenye adds.” New numbers released show that New Jersey has the second
highest number of cases of any state with over 6,000 positive cases.

The OCHD is urging people at home from their job, school or normal routines to try and keep
their mind and body healthy by exercising, eating healthy, reading, doing puzzles or play board
games. Children and adults need to limit TV watching and keep from overdoing the video games
and too much time spent on the phone.

“Too much television and news about the outbreak can lead to a serious depression for some. It
can also disturb your rest by keeping a person from getting adequate sleep. The mind is
conditioned with routines and now many of those routines have been disrupted. So why not use
the extra time at home to stimulate the body through exercise, even if it means improvising, now
that your favorite gym is closed during the outbreak,” says OCHD Assistant Public Health
Coordinator, Patty High.

Regenye went on to offer advice for those people new to working at home. He suggests you find
a nice quiet space and don’t let family distractions be a stressor if you’re trying to meet that tight deadline or are on that important call with your boss and the dog starts barking incessantly. It’s
important to limit those little nuisances when on the job, even if it’s at home.

And don’t overdo it. Mental health experts say some individuals tend to get carried away doing
their job because of all the comforts of home it provides. Your work day should have a start and
end if possible just like at the office. For those recently out of work, it can be easy to get
depressed or down on yourself. Keep busy by updating your resume, networking and looking for
resources to help you find that next opportunity instead of waiting till the last moment.

Everyone is looking forward to getting back to our normal lives, but with the COVID-19 virus
still sticking around it’s time for everyone to pitch in and follow the social distancing guidelines
outlined on the links provided at the Ocean County Health Department website at www.ochd.org
or call our Information Call Line at 732-341-9700 ext. 7411.

You can also call the NJDOH hotline available around the clock for questions at 1-800-222-1222
or by dialing 2-1-1.

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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