To the Editor:
We read a Letter to the Editor that was published in the Cape May County Herald on April 15, 2020, referring to concerns about new Coast Guard recruits coming to the Training Base Cape May. Among the concerns raised in the letter was that new recruits could be bringing the COVID-19 virus with them and cause an outbreak at the base and in the greater Cape May area.
We do understand the concerns, but it is important to know the facts related to the safety measures being implemented by the Training Base. Our Cape May County Department of Health has been in constant contact with the Coast Guard about the safety of all those involved at the training base. The Coast Guard is bringing in new recruits, but in smaller batches and those recruits must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Once that two-week period is over and the recruits are not showing any symptoms, then the recruits can begin training. These new recruits are not allowed off base and in the community during their training. They have also made the decision to cancel graduations to ensure there is no mass gathering that could spread any potential disease. The Coast Guard has always been an important part of Cape May County and they have been good neighbors in sharing information as it relates to COVID-19. We want to thank Capt. Sarah Felger for her communication and coordination through this entire process.
There is a lot of concern with the unknown. New people coming to the community would bring understandable questions and concerns about what is taking place on base. But we want to assure everyone that the county has had good conversations and believe the Coast Guard is following a path forward that will ensure safety for its recruits and our community as a whole.
Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton and Freeholder Jeffrey Pierson