LONG BEACH ISLAND — On Monday, 11 players on the Miami Marlins major league baseball team were confirmed positive with coronavirus.  This pandemic affects many aspects of life.

Long Beach Island is also experiencing a recent Covid-19 outbreak with a total of 35 lifeguards from Harvey Cedars and Surf City impacted by the virus. These are young people looking to enjoy being together, having a good time at a party or two.  These are tough times for all. 

The Long Beach Island Health Department released the following statement on Monday, July 27. 

To date 17 Surf City and 18 Harvey Cedars lifeguards tested positive for Covid-19. Approximately half are experiencing mild symptoms and the other half are asymptomatic. No hospitalizations have been reported in connection with this outbreak.

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On Saturday July 18th, the Long Beach Island Health Department began receiving reports from Beach Patrol Supervisors of both Surf City and Harvey Cedars Boroughs of possible Covid-19 case activity among lifeguards.

That triggered our Public Health Nurses to investigate suspect cases, confirm illness and issue isolation orders.

Additionally, close contacts would be identified and quarantined to prevent further spread.

As the investigation proceeded throughout last week, it was identified that Covid-19 positive cases shared attendance at a common social gathering on July 12th and 14th.

That helped to focus the public health investigation to capture those that had attended these gatherings to either quarantine or if symptomatic to isolate and seek testing.

Prior to the beach season Municipal Lifeguard Beach Patrols, made numerous changes to the way they operate in order to distance Lifeguards, such as only 1 guard in the stand at a time, guards report directly to beach stands and no communal activities. In the event a guard tested positive for Covid-19 it would significantly minimize opportunities for disease transmission.

Based on our investigation so far, the workplace was not the source of transmission and practices likely prevented additional cases.

The youth and young adults should recognize they are not immune to this virus. It is imperative to understand how individuals conduct themselves both inside and especially outside of work, can have significant implications on their own risk to acquire Covid-19 and transmit it to their family, friends and potentially coworkers.