We are now in the midst of COVID-19’s second surge, but the good news is that better times appear to be on the horizon. In recent weeks, multiple pharmaceutical companies have announced extremely encouraging results from their initial coronavirus vaccine trials, and we may be just weeks away from the first vaccines receiving federal approval for distribution.

Unfortunately, we are likely still a few months away from any vaccine being widely available to the public, and our community has been hit hard by this second wave like most of the country. This increasing transmission has strained systems and supply chains that were still recovering from the initial wave of COVID-19 in the spring. To protect our schools, businesses, and families, it is critical that we get the spread of this disease under control until a vaccine is widely available.

We have flattened the curve once before, and we can do it again if we work to keep each other safe. There are simple steps that everyone can take to help limit the continued spread of COVID-19:

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  • Wear a mask whenever you are around others, especially when indoors or unable to maintain a safe social distance;

  • Limit social gatherings to as few people as possible, and only congregate outside where the virus does not spread as easily;

  • Limit all non-essential interstate travel;

  • Maintain social distance (at least 6 feet separation from others) whenever possible; and

  • Limit and holiday gatherings and celebrations to members of your immediate household only, or small groups if they can be held outside.

I know we’re all tired of putting our lives on hold for this pandemic, but we will get through this and we will get back to normal. In the meantime, our focus has to be on protecting our community, and especially those most vulnerable around us, in order to make sure that when this pandemic is behind us, our loved ones are still here to celebrate with us. 

The Camden County Health Department has committed to being as transparent as possible regarding the status of this pandemic in our community. You can view the latest tally of new cases in each municipality, historical trends across the county, and more important data that is being updated daily on our new COVID-19 Information Dashboard located at CamdenCounty.com. 

If you are a small business owner who was impacted by the pandemic in the Spring, assistance is still available via the Camden County CARES Small Business Grant Program. The program is limited to businesses with 25 or fewer employees earning less than $5 million in revenue. For more information and to apply visit CamdenCountyCARES.com.

There is also still assistance available for renters facing back rent due to a lost job or lost wages. If you are a renter in need of support, please visit CamdenRentGrant.com to review the program eligibility criteria and to apply. 

For more information regarding Camden County’s preparations and response to the ongoing pandemic, please visit CamdenCounty.com.

Louis Cappelli, Jr. serves as the Freeholder Director on Camden County's Board of Chosen Freeholders.

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