Camden County Freeholder Director Urges Residents To Return To ‘War-Like’ Approach To COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Follow South Jersey Staff

Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. Photo credit: Camden County

CAMDEN, N.J. — Camden County officials are calling on residents to “reassess their role in preventing the spread” of COVID-19 and to return to a “war-like mindset” that was embodied in the spring.

Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said in a statement that with the current trends seen in Camden County and across the state lead him to believe that we are entering a difficult period in the pandemic.

“We’d hoped to be nearly past this pandemic by November. Instead, we are charging back into the lion’s den,” Cappelli said.

Cappelli stated that we are entering into a critical inflection point in this battle. “It is increasingly clear that we cannot continue with business as usual if we have any hope of minimizing the damage that this virus will do in the coming months,” Cappelli said.

On November 5, the Camden County Health Department announced more newly-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Camden County than have ever been announced in a single day. 

“I know this pandemic has not been easy on any of us,” Cappelli said. “More than 580 families in our community have been torn apart by this disease. More than 13,000 of our friends, family, and neighbors have been infected and face uncertain long-term effects that we are only just beginning to understand. Countless others have been challenged by struggling businesses, lost wages, and the toll to mental wellbeing that accompanies times of increased stress and anxiety.” 

Cappelli, who was first elected to the Camden County Board of Freeholders in 2003 and has been its director since 2006, said that people should be staying home as much as possible, avoiding gatherings with others, and taking every other possible precaution to avoid contracting and spreading this virus.

“There is no scenario where we get through this crisis safely without taking these steps,” he said.

 While the guidelines for protecting oneself and others have not changed, observing them has become a much more urgent requirement than it was during the relatively safer summer months, Cappelli said. 

Cappelli emphasized the following guidelines:

  • Do not hold or attend indoor gatherings. The virus spreads much faster indoors than outdoors.
  • Do not  leave home if you are feeling sick. This includes when you believe your symptoms to be related to allergies, a cold, or other non-coronavirus conditions. The symptoms of this disease are myriad and varied.
  • Always wear a mask when you are indoors or within six feet of others.
  • Always try to maintain at least six feet in separation from others, even when you are wearing a mask.
  • Always work with our contact tracing team when they call.

“We will get through this second wave just as we did the first one,” Cappelli said, “but if we want to keep our economy open, keep our hospitals operating under peak capacity, and keep our death toll from climbing, then we have to take individual responsibility for our actions in the coming weeks and months.”

Cappelli promised that additional announcements will be in the coming days and weeks regarding the county’s response to this crisis, which would include new locations for testing and continued programs intended to support families and residents.

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