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

OCHD: 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.”


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There are 7 Comments to "How are Ocean County residents faring after 3 months of the pandemic?"

  • jake says:

    Dina malchusa dina

    • Halacha man says:

      Well said!
      That is one Halacha that is being ignored here. Everyone has his or her medical opinion, but when it comes down to it, the Torah is clear. Dina Demalchusa Dina. Whether you are personally a democrat or a republican, now Murphy is the governor, and he decides. You can petition him, but not ignore him.

  • loops says:

    “children under 18 make up 3.4% of cases”
    what a joke! which child under the age of 18 was even tested?

    • My Child says:

      When her pediatrician then sent her to the emergency room a week before her bat mitzvah.

  • Steven Einhorn says:

    I was feeling poorly last month so I went for COVID19 Test. Positive.
    Later that day my Dr.called me that My Bloodwork Came back indicating that I had A Urinary Tract Infection, which caused A FALSE POSITIVE!!! So how many False Positives are out there?

    • Kathy, MD MSPH says:

      Steven-A UTI is caused by bacteria or fungus and not a virus. I highly doubt that a positive UTI would cause a false COVID positive. COVID is coronaVIRUS. I’d highly recommend you seek a new physician that has passed microbiology.

  • Thank you OCHD says:

    Thank you OCHD for your incredible efforts throughout the pandemic. I am personally grateful for all that you did- and continue to do- to keep the residents of Ocean County healthy and well in an incredibly challenging time. The numbers above (7,000 calls and emails!!) reflect some super-human work by a lot of unsung heroes.. thank you all..