Ocean County health officials on Wednesday said coronavirus cases were spiking in the county, including infections that are now affecting every long term care facility county-wide.
Ocean County added 209 new cases Wednesday after 203 new cases were reported Tuesday, said Freeholder Gerry P. Little at a meeting of the board Wednesday afternoon. Two deaths were recorded over the past 24 hours.
“We are spiking with the rest of the state and with the rest of the country,” said Little.
Long term care facilities have been hit especially hard. At one point as cases subsided, half of those facilities in the county had zero cases among their residents. Now, all 20 of the long term care facilities in Ocean County had active cases, Little said.
Middlesex County led the state in new cases Wednesday, with 447 reported. Among New Jersey’s 21 counties, Ocean ranked 10th for the number of new cases over the past day.
Little said he and other county officials – plus their counterparts from across the state in county government – held a phone conference with Gov. Phil Murphy’s staff this week, where it was requested that additional testing capacity be added. Though Ocean County has never turned away patients from its testing sites due to a lack of equipment, it will comply with the governor’s suggestion.
“We will be upping our testing even though we’ve met the demand, at the request of the governor,” said Little.
For next week, testing will be available at the county’s drive-up testing site at Ocean County College from Monday through Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. After the weekend following the Thanksgiving holiday, testing will be offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday, before the county moves to a five-day per week schedule. Those who want to be tested must register with the county health department beforehand by visiting this website.