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Health

Posted on: September 2, 2022

COVID-19 Update and Info on Monkeypox September 2, 2022

Please see the Health Department’s latest COVID-19 update and the latest information on Monkeypox. Several links are included in each update. These links contain valuable information and they are updated regularly.

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 Now Available 

New Jerseyans are now 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.

COVID-19 Activity

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: 

https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/statistics/covid/  

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 latest COVID outbreaks involve the BA.4, but mostly the BA.5 Omicron subvariants which can more easily evade immunity from vaccination or prior infection. Most within the population now have some meaningful level of immunity from either past infection or vaccination, which contributes to the more mild nature of the Omicron variant. However, it only has minimal protection from preventing infection entirely. 
  • Breakthrough  infections among the vaccinated and previously infected demonstrate that the vaccines and/or prior infection may only be marginally protective effective against symptomatic and asymptomatic infection. This is because of waning immunity, but also because immune escape is being demonstrated by the latest variants. It is important to note that previous infection and vaccination are still highly protective against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. 

Please see the links below for the NJDOH COVID Activity Dashboard, the NJ County COVID Activity Reports and the links to the Morris County COVID Websites. 

NJDOH Dashboard:

https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml

Statewide and Regional COVID Activity Report and Risk Level by County:

https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/statistics/covid/

Morris County-Based COVID Information including Data for Total Positive Cases by Municipality and COVID Testing Availability:

https://health.morriscountynj.gov/coronavirus/

Use of Masks and Other Important Safety Precautions 

Masks

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. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

Other Important Precautions to Consider to Protect against both Influenza and COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated!
  • Get boosted!
  • Distance six or more feet when possible
  • Wear masks/face coverings when appropriate, as recommend by the CDC in the link above
  • Keep indoor spaces well ventilated to the greatest extent possible
  • Practice hand hygiene
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces
  • Stay home when symptomatic
  • Get tested when appropriate
  • Follow all of the requirements and advisories set forth in the Executive Orders, Executive Directives and Travel Advisories that might be in effect. 
  • Adhere to isolation and quarantine recommendations  
  • Strengthen the immune system by:
  • Getting good nutrition. Consult your healthcare provider about supplementing with Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and zinc
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising
  • Maintaining mental health and managing stress 
  • Keeping on schedule with healthcare visits

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 vaccination and continued precautions to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading influenza or COVID-19.

COVID-19 Testing Options

  • For All New Jersey Residents 

No-Cost COVID Testing is Available

For more informationclick on the following link:  Find a list of free, public testing sites, including pop-up testing sites

  • Morris County

For more information, please see the Morris County website at https://www.morriscountynj.gov/Residents/Health/Coronavirus/Get-a-Covid-19-Test

  • Atlantic Health System

As COVID-19 and the Omicron variant continue to impact our community, Atlantic Health System has increased their testing capacity.

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

  • Additional Local Testing Site (not listed on the NJDOH website)

Doctor’s Urgent Care

Pompton Plains, NJ 

https://www.njdoctorsurgentcare.com/

COVID-19 Vaccination

For Updated COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Information, For the latest information, please click on the following links:

NJDOH

https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine

Atlantic Health System

bit.ly/3qC2rfN

There are Multiple Ways to Get Vaccinated and Boosted. Appointment Based or Walk-up clinics are Now Easily Accessible. 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 recommended by the NJDOH/CDC. In classroom settings in K through 12 schools, criteria for what constitutes a “Close Contact” , 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 Recommendations of the NJDOH 

For those who’ve tested positive (Isolation) or those who’ve been exposed to someone who tested COVID positive (Quarantine) please see the following NJDOH links: 

https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/isolation_quarantine_nonhealthcare.pdf

https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_community.shtml

Travel

While the NJDOH has lifted its travel advisory, the CDC travel guidelines are still recommended for domestic and international travel.  For more CDC/NJDOH Travel Information and guidance, please follow the links below:

NJDOH

https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/travel-and-transportation/are-there-travel-restrictions-to-or-from-new-jersey

CDC

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html

K thru 12 Schools, Childcare and Youth Camp Operations

K thru 12 schools, childcare facilities and youth camps have specific guidance unique to these institutions. The new Guidance for K-12, Childcare and Youth Camps may be found at the following link:

COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for K-12 Schools, Childcare and Youth Camps NEW 8/29/22

Executive Orders and Executive Directives

Please note, Executive Orders or Executive Directives may be issued by the Governor or the Commissioner of Health at any time to establish or relax restrictions on certain businesses, institutions, 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:

https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/approved/eo_archive.shtml

Please see the link below for an up to date list of Executive Directives of the NJDOH:

https://www.state.nj.us/health/legal/covid19/

Monkeypox 

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with monkeypox virus. It can infect anyone, but it does not spread easily to people without close contact. 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. Please click the following link for important information about the disease, its prevalence, treatment options that may be available and vaccination opportunities: https://www.nj.gov/health/monkeypox/

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.

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