The County is Proactively Monitoring the Coronavirus to Safeguard Residents

Post Date:03/03/2020 3:23 PM

Somerset County Freeholder Director Shanel Y. Robinson wants to assure residents that their safety is a top priority for the Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Somerset County Department of Health (SCDOH).

“Our Health Department has the vast experience and skillsets required to monitor and identify all communicable diseases in the community – that’s what they do on a daily basis to keep Somerset County residents safe,” said Freeholder Director Robinson. “So, we don’t have to get ready to monitor the coronavirus - we stay ready!

I have called upon the Somerset County Emergency Management Council to expand participation as needed with individuals that have required areas of expertise.  The Council is comprised of all aspects of county government and partner agencies, including Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital –Somerset, the United Way of Northern New Jersey, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Corporate partners.” 

The SCDOH is the lead agency in Somerset County responsible for coordinating public health disease response in emergencies, working in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local hospitals, medical providers, emergency medical services and other local health partners. 

“Somerset County is carefully monitoring the situation. Our Department of Health is enhancing our disease surveillance and proactively working with local healthcare providers to plan for any contingency,” said Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, public health & safety liaison. “We will continue to update the public as information becomes available. In the interim, please visit the Department of Health’s website at www.co.somerset.nj.us/health to obtain accurate information about the coronavirus. Residents who have questions may email coronavirus@co.somerset.nj.us or call 908-231-7155.”

At this time, there are no reports of coronavirus in Somerset County.  However, to prepare and help reduce any impact this virus may have on our communities, the SCDOH is collaborating with its partner agencies to prepare the public health workforce to respond to any local cases that may occur, and for the possibility that this outbreak could become a pandemic. 

The county Department of Health is actively:

Keeping health officials, emergency response teams and the public informed

The SCDOH continues to provide the best available scientific information, management practices, and federal and state guidance related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), including links to essential resources, to officials, citizens, employees and partner organizations.  Municipalities are asked to share this with their communities and provide updates from the SCDOH on their websites. 

Watching for and identifying disease in our communities

In response to the expanding global outbreak of COVID-19, the county’s public health response is aggressive and specific. The SCDOH is utilizing surveillance systems to track the movement of the virus and identify any case of COVID-19 that may arise in Somerset County. The SCDOH is ready to implement public health interventions to reduce the potential spread and impact.

The SCDOH plans to use isolation and quarantine measures to decrease the introduction and spread of the virus in our communities.

The CDC and the NJDOH have defined criteria for individuals with specific travel histories and have advised public health agencies of people in our communities who meet these travel criteria. These individuals will be contacted by the Department of Health’s professional staff to assess the risk of exposure to COVID-19.  The SCDOH will implement quarantine measures when individuals fit certain risk categories.

Planning for non-pharmaceutical interventions

Although there are currently no cases in New Jersey or Somerset County, the SCDOH has established guidelines to detect and investigate potential cases of COVID-19 in our communities. The county is simultaneously considering other protective measures, including non-pharmaceutical interventions, that are appropriate for the current incidence of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Non-pharmaceutical interventions are actions, apart from getting vaccinated and taking medicine, which people and communities can follow to help slow the spread of illnesses. These actions can include maintaining or increasing the distance between people, promoting common-sense health habits and encouraging the proper cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces. These measures are an important way to fight the spread of an outbreak and reduce its impact on communities.

Somerset County is also reviewing pandemic preparedness protocols and response plans in the event the COVID-19 reaches the level of a pandemic.

Coordination with health officials and emergency response teams

The county Department of Health and the Office of Emergency Management are meeting with key partners to discuss how best to coordinate, support and enhance countywide and municipal preparedness and response efforts.

Public health officials are also working with local emergency management partners to support the implementation of public health response at the municipal level.

The SCDOH is coordinating conference calls and in-person meetings with public health partners to provide situational awareness, share relevant information, address concerns and modify our response to the event based on the evolving situation. 

For more information, contact the Somerset County Department of Health at coronavirus@co.somerset.nj.us or 908-231-7155.

 

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Current Situation in Somerset County 

Current SCDOH Situation Update

Somerset County Department of Health (SCDOH) is working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New Jersey State Department of Health, and other health partners in monitoring the evolving situation. Somerset County remains committed to providing accurate and timely information on this situation to our communities. Residents can call 908-231-7111 for a daily automated reading of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) case count in Somerset County, New Jersey.

The SCDOH is the lead county agency to coordinate public health disease response, in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local hospitals, medical providers, and emergency medical services. To stay up-to-date on information, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for the most current information. More information and resources regarding the new coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found below.

Questions or Concerns?

Residents who have questions about the new coronavirus may contact the Somerset County Department of Health via coronavirus@co.somerset.nj.us.

The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the New Jersey Department of Health to provide information to the public on COVID-19. Residents can call the public call center with questions and concerns at 1-800-962-1253 or 1-800-222-1222. Residents can also text NJCOVID to 898-211 for text information and to stay informed.

Outdoor Dining Checklist

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The checklist below is Guidance for Outdoor Dining for Restaurants and Food Establishments

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COVID-19 Cases Total Deaths
Somerset County*  4,436** 463
New Jersey  174,628** 13,532
United States 3,106,931** 132,855
*All 21 municipalities            

**Includes both confirmed cases and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Presumptive positive cases tested positive at a state or commercial laboratory and are waiting for confirmatory testing by the CDC.

As of 7/10/20, 2pm

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Click to open the Somerset County COVID-19 Status Dashboard Map!

Situation Update

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Current SCDOH Situation Update

July 10, 2020 - SCDOH Situation Update #23

 

 To view previous SCDOH situation updates, please click here

Press Releases   

July 2, 2020 -  Somerset County Adds New Date for Drive-Thru Testing

 To view previous press releases, please click here

 

Helpful Resources

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Flyers, posters, social media resources and more!

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Face Coverings

Face coverings, along with social distancing staying home when you are sick and good hand hygiene, are vital tools in the fight against COVID-19. Wearing a face covering or mask has been shown to dramatically decrease the release of droplets from people's mouths, which can carry infectious particles. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has created Mask Up, New Jersey! toolkit to encourage everyone to wear a mask in outdoor public places. Please help us remind New Jerseyans to mask up by sharing these resources on social media channels and at your offices. To view the campaign toolkit, click here: Mask Up, New Jersey!

Protect Yourself and Others

To help protect yourself and others from the spread of coronavirus, the CDC recommends everyone should:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill and stay home when you are sick.
  • Keep distance between you and others, stay about 2 arm's length distance from others (about 6 feet).
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched daily.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.

Prevent Spread in Communities

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Home

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Travel
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Work

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Volunteers

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If you’re interested in volunteering in Somerset County for public health COVID-19 response, click here.

 

 

Mental Health Resources

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Additional Resources