The Ocean County Health Department has reported the third presumptive positive case of coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Ocean County. The individual is a male resident of Berkeley Township who is currently in stable condition.

“Health Department Epidemiologists and Administrators have been working around the clock and through the weekend to help contain and mitigate the spread of this virus," Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer said.

Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato Jr., who was notified of the case, urges residents to remain calm and practice proper hand hygiene and other disease prevention actions including social distancing.

Social distancing is especially important as Berkeley Township schools recently announced their temporary school closure beginning on Monday.

Amato stresses that "we all need to do our part and not put those at highest risk in jeopardy of contracting this virus. Berkeley is home to many high risk older adults that we need to protect and keep safe."

Ocean County officials including Freeholder Director Joe Vicari and Freeholder Gerry Little continue to participate in daily conference calls with the Governor's office to keep abreast of the situation and also convey Ocean County needs to the State.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders are also convening conference calls with all municipalities to keep them apprised of changing events related to COVID-19.

“We just want our residents to know that while this is a serious public health issue, the risk is still low at the moment,” Regenye said. "Residents need to continue to remain informed of what is occurring from reputable sources such as the Ocean County Health Department, New Jersey Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus."

As a reminder, the OCHD recommends preventive actions to help halt the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

· SOCIAL DISTANCING

· Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

· If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

· Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

· Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

· Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health.

· Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue.

· Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For more information on COVID-19, you can visit www.ochd.org or call the New Jersey hotline available around the clock for questions at 1-800-222-1222.

OCHD has also set up a hotline number for residents questions regarding the coronavirus. The number is (732) 341-9700 x7411.

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