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NOTE: The Cape May County Herald is offering full coverage of the COVID-19 / coronavirus emergency to all, with no payment required. We are committed to ensuring our readers can make critical decisions for themselves and their families during this ongoing situation. To continue supporting this vital reporting, please consider a digital subscription or contribution. For more coverage, subscribe to our daily newsletter.

COURT HOUSE - Sept. 13: The Cape May County Health Department is reporting six new positive cases among county residents, three of which are located in Woodbine long-term care facilities, and three new out of county positive cases that are included in the non-resident active cases listed below.

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According to a release, total positive cases of COVID-19 infection, in Cape May County, is now 1,236, including 89 deaths.

People with Certain Medical Conditions

People of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 including the following: · Cancer · Chronic kidney disease · COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) · Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant · Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher) · Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies · Sickle cell disease · Type 2 diabetes mellitus

COVID-19 is a new disease. Currently, there are limited data and information about the impact of underlying medical conditions and whether they increase the risk for severe illness from COVID-19. 

Based on what we know at this time, people with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19: 

· Asthma (moderate-to-severe) · Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain) 

· Cystic fibrosis · Hypertension or high blood pressure · Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines 

· Neurologic conditions, such as dementia 

· Liver disease 

· Pregnancy 

· Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues) 

· Smoking 

· Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder) 

· Type 1 diabetes mellitus Children who have medical complexity, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to other children.

The list of underlying conditions is meant to inform clinicians to help them provide the best care possible for patients, and to inform individuals as to what their level of risk may be so they can make individual decisions about illness prevention. We are learning more about COVID-19 every day. This list is a living document that may be updated at any time, subject to potentially rapid change as the science evolves.

Reduce your risk of getting COVID-19

It is especially important for people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.

The best way to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is to:

· Limit your interactions with other people as much as possible. · Take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when you do interact with others.

If you start feeling sick and think you may have COVID-19, get in touch with your healthcare provider within 24 hours.

Venturing out into a public setting? What to consider before you go.

As communities and businesses across the United States are opening, you may be thinking about resuming some activities, running errands, and attending events and gatherings. There is no way to ensure you have zero risk of infection, so it is important to understand the risks and know how to be as safe as possible.

People at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, should consider their level of risk before deciding to go out and ensure they are taking steps to protect themselves. Consider avoiding activities where taking protective measures may be difficult, such as activities where social distancing can’t be maintained. Everyone should take steps to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 to protect themselves, their communities, and people who are at increased risk of severe illness.

In general, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. · If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions.

· Keep these items on hand and use them when venturing out: a mask, tissues, and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if possible. · If possible, avoid others who are not wearing masks or ask others around you to wear masks.

Are you considering in-person visits with family and friends? Here are some things to consider to help make your visit as safe as possible:

When to delay or cancel a visit · Delay or cancel a visit if you or your visitors have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. · Anyone who has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should stay home and monitor for symptoms.

In general, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. So, think about:

· How many people will you interact with?

· Can you keep 6 feet of space between you and others?

· Will you be outdoors or indoors?

· What’s the length of time that you will be interacting with people?

Encourage social distancing during your visit

· Visit with your friends and family outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open windows or doors) and large enough to accommodate social distancing.

· Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and don’t need to be 6 feet apart from each other.

· Consider activities where social distancing can be maintained, like sidewalk chalk art or yard games.

· Try to avoid close contact with your visitors. For example, don’t shake hands, elbow bump, or hug. Instead wave and verbally greet them.

· If possible, avoid others who are not wearing masks or ask others around you to wear masks.

· Consider keeping a list of people you visited or who visited you and when the visit occurred. This will help with contact tracing if someone becomes sick.

Wear masks · Masks should be worn over the nose and mouth. Masks are especially important when it is difficult to stay at least 6 feet apart from others or when people are indoors to help protect each other.

· Masks may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others

o Wearing a mask helps protects others in case you’re infected, while others wear one to protect you should they be infected.

· Who should NOT use masks: Children under age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, or is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Wash hands often

· Everyone should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds at the beginning and end of the visit and whenever you think your hands may have become contaminated.

· If soap and water are not readily available, such as with outdoor visits or activities, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

· Remind guests to wash or sanitize their hands before serving or eating food.

· Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so visitors do not share towels. Have a no-touch trash can available for guests to use.

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