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Please see the update below for the latest information on COVID-19 and information on Monkeypox. Additionally, a new suicide and crisis line will be available beginning July 16, 2022 by dialing 988.
COVID-19 and Mental Health
Maintaining one’s mental health is an essential part of achieving overall well-being. The link below provides resources that will be helpful in connecting individuals with people who can benefit from talking about how they are feeling. There is also information about the virtual support groups and hotlines that are available through various organizations. https://www.nj211.org/covid-19-and-mental-health
NEW!! – 988 Suicide and Crisis Line Number Available July 16, 2022
Starting July 16, 2022, New Jerseyans will be able to use 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 988 will be available for call, text, or chat to those experiencing a mental health-related or suicidal crisis, or those looking to help a loved one through a crisis. The existing Lifeline number, 1-800-273-8255, will continue to be available.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available to persons of all abilities, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Division of Developmental Disabilities, and other governmental Departments, have worked with 988 to provide disability specific service information and other available resources. This will equip 988 to meet the presenting need of the caller and, as appropriate, connect them with other appropriate resources depending on their unique needs.
Providers rendering services to persons with IDD and/or TBI are reminded that 988 is distinct from 911. Under Danielle’s Law P.L. 2003, c.191, 911 must continue to be called in any situation where a prudent person could reasonably believe a life threatening emergency exists. More information on Danielle’s Law can be found here.
For more information about 988, please visit the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline website. Additionally, a helpful Frequently Asked Questions document for persons with IDD can be found here.
New COVID Cases are Remaining at a High Rate Primarily Because of the Increased Transmissibility of the Omicron Subvariants, but also Because of the Immune Escape Associated with Omicron BA.4 and BA.5.
The rate of transmission in NJ is 1.05. Any transmission rate above 1.00 is concerning and indicates that each infected person is passing the virus to at least one other person. The higher the number, the greater the risk of viral spread throughout the community. As of July 14, 2022, Morris County remains at a high level of transmission (Orange) while Passaic County remains at a moderate level of transmission (Yellow).
For the latest Statewide COVID Activity Report that specifies the Risk Levels by County (usually updated by the State each Friday), please click the following link:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidelines to track COVID-19 risk in communities. Instead of focusing on preventing transmission of the virus, the CDC guidelines aim to minimize severe illness and prevent health care systems from becoming overwhelmed. Taking actions proportionately to increases seen in severe illness and implementing a different set of actions similar to those taken with seasonal influenza is likely as we move into the endemic COVID phase.
The rate of new COVID infections in all of the municipalities within the Pequannock Health Department’s jurisdiction remain high.
Please see the links below for the NJDOH COVID Activity Dashboard, the NJ County COVID Activity Reports and the links to the Morris and Passaic County Health Department COVID Websites.
Statewide and Regional COVID Activity Report and Risk Level by Region:
Morris County-Based COVID Information including Data for Total Positive Cases by Municipality and COVID Testing Availability:
Use of Masks and Other Important Safety Precautions
Please see the link below to the CDC recommendation for the use of masks indoor for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals especially when County transmission is substantial or high.
Who Should Wear a Mask?
Other Important Precautions against both Influenza and COVID-19:
No vaccines are100% effective, so people must balance preventive actions to reduce possible transmission and maintain safety. People who have a weakened immune system should discuss whether they should continue precautions with their healthcare provider. The combination of COVID-19 vaccination and continued precautions to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.
COVID-19 Testing Options
As COVID-19 and the Omicron variant continue to impact our community, Atlantic Health System has offered to share important information about how and where to get tested.
To ensure all patients seeking immediate medical care receive the highest level of attention, Atlantic Health System is reminding patients with no symptoms or minor symptoms to refrain from using the emergency department solely as a means to get testing. Please do not use the emergency department at any hospital as a COVID testing facility, unless you are experiencing severe symptoms or need emergency medical care. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, please contact your doctor, dial 911 or visit the emergency department. If you suspect you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms, please consider one of Atlantic Health System’s dedicated testing locations or other community testing sites listed on the following link: https://www.atlantichealth.org/conditions-treatments/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-testing.html
Choosing between a COVID-19 PCR or antigen test can be confusing. Atlantic Health has created the attached graphic to help you choose the right test option for you and your family. COVID-19 testing is available for patients with or without symptoms at specific Atlantic Health locations. Find a community lab, testing center or urgent care testing location near you: https://bit.ly/3uQ9HEI
Doctor’s Urgent Care
Pompton Plains, NJ
For the latest information, please click on the following links:
For up-to-date vaccine locations in New Jersey, please visit covid19.nj.gov/finder.
Definition of Close Contact to a COVID Positive Individual
The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) has established criteria for what constitutes a “Close Contact” to someone who is a COVID-19 positive individual. It is defined as – “a total of 15 minutes or more of close contact exposure (6 feet or closer) to an infected person during a 24-hour period”. Those who have been determined to be a close contact to a COVID -19 positive individual should quarantine for a minimum period as set forth in the Quarantine and Isolation Protocol Section below.
In classroom settings in K through 12 schools, criteria for what constitutes a “Close Contact” is “a total of 15 minutes or more of close contact exposure (3 feet or closer if both have well fitted, properly worn masks) to an infected person during a 24-hour period”. K thru 12 schools have specific guidance unique to those institutions regarding quarantine, isolation and exclusion. The NJDOH guidance and recommendations specific to K thru 12 schools should be consulted. The guidance is available on the COVID-19 Information for Schools website at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_schools.shtml
Quarantine and Isolation Protocols from the NJDOH and the CDC
For Those Who’ve Tested Positive (Isolation) or Those who’ve been Exposed to Someone Who Tested COVID Positive (Quarantine)
Quarantine is a strategy used to prevent transmission of COVID-19 by keeping people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 apart from others.
Who does not need to quarantine?
If you had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and you are in one of the following groups, you do not need to quarantine.
You should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0). Get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19. If you test positive or develop COVID-19 symptoms, isolate from other people and follow recommendations in the Isolation section below. If you tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test within the previous 90 days and subsequently recovered and remain without COVID-19 symptoms, you do not need to quarantine or get tested after close contact. You should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0).
Who should quarantine?
If you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should quarantine if you are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines. This includes people who are not vaccinated.
What to do for quarantine:
Isolation is used to separate people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from those without COVID-19. People who are in isolation should stay home until it’s safe for them to be around others. At home, anyone sick or infected should separate from others, or wear a well-fitting mask when they need to be around others. People in isolation should stay in a specific “sick room” or area and use a separate bathroom if available. Everyone who has presumed or confirmed COVID-19 should stay home and isolate from other people for at least 5 full days (day 0 is the first day of symptoms or the day of the positive viral test for asymptomatic persons). They should wear a mask when around others at home and in public for an additional 5 days. People who are confirmed to have COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 need to isolate regardless of their vaccination status. This includes:
What to do for isolation
Learn more about what to do if you are sick and how to notify your contacts.
Ending isolation for people who had COVID-19 and had symptoms
If you had COVID-19 and had symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days. To calculate your 5-day isolation period, day 0 is your first day of symptoms. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed. You can leave isolation after 5 full days.
If an individual has access to a test and wants to test, the best approach is to use an antigen test1 towards the end of the 5-day isolation period. Collect the test sample only if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation). If your test result is positive, you should continue to isolate until day 10. If your test result is negative, you can end isolation, but continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public until day 10. Follow additional recommendations for masking and restricting travel as described above.
Please Note: These recommendations on ending isolation do not apply to people with moderate or severe COVID-19 or with weakened immune systems (immunocompromised). See section below for recommendations for when to end isolation for these groups.
Ending isolation for people who tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms
If you test positive for COVID-19 and never develop symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days. Day 0 is the day of your positive viral test (based on the date you were tested) and day 1 is the first full day after the specimen was collected for your positive test. You can leave isolation after 5 full days.
Ending isolation for people who were severely ill with COVID-19 or have a weakened immune system (immunocompromised)
People who are severely ill with COVID-19 (including those who were hospitalized or required intensive care or ventilation support) and people with compromised immune systems might need to isolate at home longer. They may also require testing with a viral test to determine when they can be around others. CDC recommends an isolation period of at least 10 and up to 20 days for people who were severely ill with COVID-19 and for people with weakened immune systems. Consult with your healthcare provider about when you can resume being around other people.
People who are immunocompromised should talk to their healthcare provider about the potential for reduced immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines and the need to continue to follow current prevention measures (including wearing a well-fitting mask, staying 6 feet apart from others they don’t live with, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces) to protect themselves against COVID-19 until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider. Close contacts of immunocompromised people – including household members – should also be encouraged to receive all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses to help protect these people.
The NJDOH Communicable Disease Service has also updated COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Local Health Departments for K-12 Schools. This information is available on the COVID-19 Information for Schools website at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_schools.shtml
Contact Tracing and Disease Investigation
The NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) has provided additional contact tracers to our local Health Department. They support the operation in coordination with the Pequannock Health Department’s public health nurses.
School and University Operations While Addressing COVID Outbreaks
K thru 12 schools have specific guidance unique to these institutions and is available on the COVID-19 Information for Schools website at https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_schools.shtml.
While the NJDOH has lifted its travel advisory for travel, the CDC travel guidelines are still recommended for domestic and international travel.
Travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should follow the recommendations from the CDC.
It is strongly recommended that international travelers and residents who have returned to the U.S. from foreign countries follow the recommendations from the CDC.
For more CDC/NJDOH Travel Advisory Information please follow the links below:
Health & Safety Recommendations For Businesses and Workplaces
For safety tips, refer to the CDC's COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
Please note, Executive Orders may be issued by the Governor at any time to establish or relax restrictions on certain businesses, social activities and gatherings. For up to date and more complete information, please refer to the entire contents of the Executive Orders and Executive Directives listed at the links below.
Please see the link below for all Executive Orders to date:
Please see the link below for an up to date list of Executive Directives of the NJDOH:
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with monkeypox virus that can affect anyone. The virus can cause flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that often begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body. Monkeypox does not spread easily to people without close contact. At this time, cases of monkeypox are relatively rare in the United States. People who think they may have been exposed to monkeypox or who have symptoms of monkeypox should consult with a healthcare provider.
NJDOH is working in conjunction with CDC and local health departments, to quickly identify monkeypox cases and close contacts, provide treatment and vaccine, and further prevent the spread of disease. CDC is working with state and local health officials to monitor probable and confirmed cases within the country. Report Confirmed or Suspect Cases Immediately to the Local Health Department.