Only half of all residents called by a contact tracer provide information about people they’ve been close with, and even fewer offer details about people with whom they don’t reside, officials say.
By Matt Skoufalos | August 19, 2020
Camden County continues to average “a steady flow of 20 to 40” new positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) per day, said Camden County Freeholder-Director Lou Cappelli in a briefing Wednesday.
But locally, contact tracers are having a difficult time warning those who’ve potentially been exposed to the virus of their status because people are reluctant to share that information.
Caryelle Lasher, Communicable Disease Unit Supervisor at the Camden County Department of Health, said that only about half of all people Camden County tracers call provide information about the people with whom they’ve been in contact.
When asked to name people outside their household who might have been exposed to the virus, that number falls to about 10 percent, Lasher said.
“There are people who may not know their exposure… people who could have much more dire or severe effects” as a result, she said.
“None of this is punitive,” Lasher said. “We’re not judging. Our important part is just contacting those people who may have been exposed so they can protect the loved ones in their circle.”
Last week, Cappelli said that younger Camden County residents are contracting the virus and spreading it to friends and immediate family members: at the statewide peak of the pandemic, the average COVID-19 patient was older than 50; in August, he or she is 31.
All told, 9,488 local people have been sickened by the virus, and 552 have perished from related complications. The most recent COVID-19-related fatality in Camden County was announced Wednesday: a Camden City woman in her 70s.
Throughout New Jersey, 188,427 people have been sickened by COVID-19, and 14,097 have perished from causes related to the virus. In addition to those lab-confirmed fatalities, the state also recognizes another 1,829 probable COVID-19-related deaths.
LTC cases and deaths
Long-term care (LTC) facilities account for almost half of all deaths in the state and one-fifth of those infected, and new cases are still being discovered there.
Of 9,488 reported local COVID-19 cases, 1,875 (20 percent) have originated in a Camden County LTC facility: 1,342 are residents and 533 are staff.
LTCs are believed to be associated with 57 percent, or 317 of the 552 total deaths in Camden County; 314 were residents and three were staff.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard, on August 19, Camden County was third in the state in new COVID-19 cases, with 37.
Since Friday, the newest local cases (198) are:
- three Audubon women, one each in her 20s, 30s, and 50s; a teenaged boy and a man in his 30s
- a Barrington woman in her 60s
- three Bellmawr women, one each in her 50s, 70s, and 80s; and a man in his 80s
- two Berlin Borough young girls, a woman in her 30s, and a man in his 40s
- a Berlin Township woman in her 30s
- 16 Camden City men, four each in their 20s, 30s, and 50s, three in their 40s, one in his 60s, two teenaged boys, and a young boy; and 13 women, four in their 40s, three in their 20s, two each in their 30s and 60s, one each in her 50s and 70s, two young girls, and a teenaged girl
- 16 Cherry Hill women, four each in their 20s and 30s, three in their 70s, two in their 40s, one each in her 50s, 60s, and 80s, and seven teenaged girls; and 12 men, four in their 20s, three each in their 30s and 40s, two in their 50s, and seven teenaged boys
- a Clementon teenaged girl, and woman in her 30s
- four Collingswood women, two in their 20s, and one each in her 30s and 80s; and a man in his 20s
- a Gloucester City teenaged boy
- seven Gloucester Township women, four in their 50s, two in their 60s, one in her 40s, and three teenaged girls; five men, four in their 60s, one in his 40s, two teenaged boys, and a teenaged person of unknown gender
- three Haddon Township men, two in their 20s and one in his 50s, and a teenaged boy
- two Haddonfield men, one each in his 20s and 50s; and a woman in her 30s
- a Lawnside young girl and woman in her 40s
- three Merchantville teenaged boys, two men in their 30s, and a young boy; a young girl, two women, one each in her 20s and 30s
- a Mount Ephraim young girl
- 12 Pennsauken women, four in their 40s, three in their 30s, two in their 50s, one each in her 20s, 60s, and 70s, three young girls, and a teenaged girl; and 11 men, four in their 30s, three in their 50s, two in their 60s, one each in his 20s and 40s, and a teenaged boy
- five Pine Hill women, two in their 20s, and one each in her 30s, 60s, and 70s; and two men, one each in his 50s and 70s
- a Runnemede man in his 90s
- a Stratford man in his 50s
- three Voorhees women, one each in her 20s, 50s, and 70s; and two men in their 50s
- three Waterford women, two in their 50s and one in her 40s; and two men, one each in his 20s and 50s
- five Winslow women, two each in their 50s and 60s, and one in her 20s; and four men, two in their 50s, and one each in his 30s and 70s
- three Woodlynne young girls, and two women, one each in her 20s and 40s
The Camden County and New Jersey Health Department are working to facilitate trace investigations into all cases.
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