Holly – In
accordance with gubernatorial action, Burlington County Coronavirus Task
Force, led by Health Department Director Dr. Herb Conaway announced today that
organizations in the county should cancel or postpone mass gatherings of more
than 250 people and for organizations that serve high-risk populations, cancel
gatherings of more than 10 people. This recommendation is based upon CDC
guidelines. Organizations may choose to cancel smaller gatherings depending
upon their communities and their populations.
we have not documented community transmissions here in Burlington County yet,
we wish to be proactive in preventing the spread within the county.” stated
Health Department Director Dr. Herb Conaway.
The CDC has issued guidelines for Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission. The goal of the mitigation strategies is to slow the transmission in the community. The document can be found at the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community-mitigation-strategy.pdf
“Using these strategies, we are making the following recommendations regarding mass gatherings and community activities,” said Dr. Conaway. “There are specific guidelines for the individuals and families at home, schools/childcare, assisted living, senior living facilities, adult day programs, workplace, healthcare settings, community and faith-based organizations.”
to the CDC Guidelines:
Things to consider:
- These are recommendations and not mandates. Each community is unique, and appropriate mitigation strategies will vary based on the characteristics of each community and their populations.
- Examine all aspects of the community including populations most vulnerable to severe illness and those that may be more impacted socially and economically.
Who is considered high risk?
to the CDC and early information from China where COVID-19 first started, some
people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
more information about high risk populations, please visit (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html)
for Individuals and Families:
to monitor local information about COVID-19 in your community.
to practice personal protective measures such has handwashing and staying home
at increased risk of severe illness should consider staying at home and
avoiding gatherings or other situations of potential exposures, including
for Schools and Childcare Facilities
• Implement social distancing measures: Cancel large
gatherings (e.g., assemblies), and limit
the number of attendees per gathering.
o Alter schedules to reduce mixing (e.g., stagger recess, entry/dismissal times)
o Cancel school trips
o Make preparations for remote education to include those with special educational or medical needs.
o Make preparations to deliver school meal programs in the event of school closure
regular health checks (e.g., temperature and respiratory symptom screening) of
students, staff, and visitors (if feasible).
dismissals for school and extracurricular activities as needed (e.g., if cases
in staff/students) for cleaning and contact tracing.
at increased risk of severe illness should consider implementing individual
plans for distance learning, e-learning.
for Pregnant and Nursing Women:
- According to the CDC there is not currently information from published scientific reports about susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. Pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. For more information about COVID-19 and pregnancy, please visit (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnancy-faq.html)
for Assisted Living/Senior Living/Adult Day Programs
social distancing measures:
large gatherings (e.g., group social events)
o Alter schedules to reduce mixing (e.g., stagger meal, activity, arrival/departure times)
o Limit programs with external staff
o Consider having residents stay in facility and limit exposure to the general community
o Limit visitors, implement screening
and respiratory symptom screening of attendees, staff, and visitors.
closures as needed (e.g., if cases in staff, residents or clients who live
elsewhere) for cleaning and contact tracing.
- Encourage staff to telework (when feasible), particularly individuals at increased risk of severe illness.
- Implement social distancing measures: Increasing physical space between workers at the worksite
- Staggering work schedules
- Decreasing social contacts in the workplace (e.g., limit in-person meetings, meeting for lunch in a break room, etc.)
- Limit large work-related gatherings (e.g., staff meetings, after-work functions).
- Limit non-essential work travel.
- Consider regular health checks (e.g., temperature and respiratory symptom screening) of staff and visitors entering buildings (if feasible).
for Healthcare Settings
- Implement changes to visitor policies to further limit exposures to Health Care Providers (HCP), residents, and patients. Changes could include temperature/symptom checks for visitors, limiting visitor movement in the facility, etc.
- Implement triage before entering facilities (e.g., parking lot triage, front door), phone triage, and tele-medicine to limit unnecessary healthcare visits.
- Actively monitor absenteeism and respiratory illness among HCP and patients.
- Actively monitor Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies.
- Establish processes to evaluate and test large numbers of patients and HCP with respiratory symptoms (e.g., designated clinic, surge tent).
- Consider allowing asymptomatic exposed HCP to work while wearing a facemask.
- Begin to cross train HCP for working in other units in anticipation of staffing shortages.
for Community and Faith-Based Organizations.
- Implement social distancing measures:
- Reduce activities (e.g., group congregation, religious services), especially for organizations with individuals at increased risk of severe illness.
- Consider offering video/audio of events.
- Determine ways to continue providing support services to individuals at increased risk of severe disease (services, meals, checking in) while limiting group settings and exposures.
- Cancel large gatherings (e.g., >250 people, though threshold is at the discretion of the community) or move to smaller groupings.
- For organizations that serve high-risk populations, cancel gatherings of more than 10 people.