Lakewood Briefs

Ocean County College drive thru test site. (ochd)

Lakewood Sees Minor Bump in COVID Cases

This past week, reported cases set a six week high mark at 213. After the spike that occurred in September and early October was brought under control, case numbers had remained steady ranging in the low to mid 100s.

A local health official told Hamodia that despite the increase in case numbers, COVID transports to local hospitals had remained steady at two to three per week since after Succos.

The increase number in positive cases comes amid an ongoing statewide surge. While most testing occurs at local doctors’ offices and clinics, Ocean County moved to increase testing availability by re-expanding hours in its central testing site at Ocean County College. The site was opened several months ago as testing became more readily available, but its hours had been reduced over the summer when local numbers decreased significantly.

“We have also consistently encouraged our residents to get tested,” said Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye. “When you add all this up the demand for tests has increased. We believe the longer hours will address this demand. We can also adjust the hours again if necessary.”

Mass testing is seen as an important component of containing viral spread as it allows for more people who are positive or who have been exposed to them to quarantine.

Police Investigate Presumed Hate Crime

Lakewood Police are investigating an incident that occurred over this past Shabbos, when a dead swine was placed at the doorstep of an Orthodox Jewish home.

Police responded to the scene on Motzoei Shabbos and are investigating it as an apparent bias crime. They appealed to the public for any additional information.

OCHD Warns Against Confusing COVID with Flu

Ocean County Health Department sought to raise public awareness of seasonal flu symptoms in an attempt to minimize residents confusing the illness with COVID.

“The flu and COVID-19 certainly share many characteristics, but there are some important differences between the two,” said Daniel Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer. “But to determine the difference isn’t simple based on just an individual’s symptoms and so this is where testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.”

Influenza (Flu) and COVID are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Since many symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, and muscle aches are common to both illnesses, OCHD encouraged residents to test for COVID before dismissing illness as the flu.

“We’re seeing down the road through contact tracing that individuals that start with flu-like symptoms try to be optimistic and believe it’s only a quick flu bug or cold,” explained Patty High, OCHD Assistant Public Health Officer. “Additionally, they don’t want to sacrifice social plans or potentially be restricted by a quarantine or isolation period. We need these individuals to err on the side of caution by contacting a health care provider for guidance once they start demonstrating any of the symptoms.”

Rep. Kim Welcomes Cabinet Nominees

Congressman Andy Kim (D-NJ) welcomed President-Elect Joe Biden’s nominees for top national security positions.

“Good government requires good people, and a good foreign policy and national security strategy requires professionals who put service to their country first. These nominations by President-Elect Biden give me hope that the incoming administration will not only take seriously the issues facing America on a global stage, but will do the hard work to bring our allies together and reestablish America’s leadership in the world,” he said.

Prior to his election in 2018, Rep. Kim served as a defense advisor to President Barak Obama focusing on Afghanistan and later Iraq. In these roles, he worked directly with several of the resent nominees.

“I have had the honor of working side by side with Tony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, Avril Haines, and Secretary Kerry in the Situation Room where I worked with them on some of the toughest challenges in the world, and I have long admired Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Alejandro Mayorkas,” he said. “Their expertise should give the American people confidence that they will perform these critical roles ably for our national security, and their dedication to service should give our allies confidence that they will represent the best of America.”