OCEAN COUNTY, NJ - Statewide, the number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 has reached 137,085. In the meantime, New Jersey has not allowed certain testing areas to swab asymptomatic individuals who want to rule out they could be contagious. It is unknown if the change has impacted the rate of positives to negatives. At this time, the positive results equate to 38.7% of the total number of tests.

In Ocean County, the health department reports 101 new cases, bringing the countywide total to 7,376. Both Barnegat (211) and Ocean Township (41) have just one additional positive test result each. Lacey has three more new cases for a total of 186. In Stafford, the positive results rose to 197, with four more confirmed coronavirus cases.

Statewide, the death toll in New Jersey hit 9,116, with a total of 523 fatalities associated with COVID-19 in Ocean County. The average age of death is 78, while the youngest to die was just 20 years old. Those over the age of 65,make up nearly 79% of Ocean County's total mortality rate. That said, 10 individuals between the ages of 19 and 44 reportedly died as a result of the virus.

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At today's press conference, Rosie Taravella, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross New Jersey Region, and Shereef Elnahal, President and Chief Executive Officer of University Hospital joined  Governor Phil Murphy on the dais. They announced two new American Red Cross convalescent plasma collection sites in northern New Jersey. Convalescent plasma collection will begin at the American Red Cross blood center in Fairfield and University Hospital in Newark on Monday, May 11. 

Eligible individuals must be fully recovered from COVID-19 and symptom free, and must otherwise meet regular blood donation eligibility criteria. Individuals are encouraged to register to donate at RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid. Once registered, someone will follow up to qualify the potential donor, and once qualified, the donor will receive an appointment time and location to donate. Please note that plasma collection is by appointment only.