CAMDEN, NJ - Speaking candidly Tuesday afternoon, Camden County Freeholder Jonathan Young said his mother won’t be traveling from Virginia this year - as is usually the case every Thanksgiving - out of an abundance of caution. 

“We had to talk her into staying at home this year. She was pretty upset about it. But she's almost 80…So we want to make sure she's not traveling. It's just doing the right thing,” Young said, during the county’s virtual COVID-19 press briefing. 

Young hopes others in the hard-hit county take similar steps with more than 5,000 cases reported this month so far (more than June, July and August combined). As the time has passed for a self-quarantine to make sense (with an incubation period of 14 days), officials hope locals keep family gatherings small, limit to immediate family members, social distance as much as possible, host outdoor events if weather permits and wear face masks when gathered together.

Sign Up for Camden Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“It's very, very critical and important that this Thanksgiving looks looks different than we are used to,” Young continued. “Do not travel for the holidays, utilize zoom Skype or other means of virtual connection. This can be a turning point in one direction or another, and we really need to make sure that it turns in a positive direction.”

On Saturday, the county reported 562 cases, breaking the previous single-day record of 400 cases. The rate of transmission is 1.25 and the positivity rate is 11.6%.

Gov. Phil Murphy was blunt in during his own press briefing last week, saying Camden County was getting “slugged” by the respiratory virus 

“There is no way to sugarcoat these numbers. They’re not good and getting worse,” Murphy said. 

The county health department confirmed an additional 11 deaths and 253 cases Tuesday - for a total of 18,026 cases and 607 deaths. 

The deaths took place in the following municipalities:

New Case 1:

 

MALE,

 

50s,

 

CLEMENTON

 

New Case 2:

 

MALE,

 

70s,

 

VOORHEES

 

New Case 3:

 

MALE,

 

60s,

 

BROOKLAWN

 

New Case 4:

 

FEMALE,

 

80s,

 

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP

 

New Case 5:

 

FEMALE,

 

90s,

 

CHERRY HILL

 

New Case 6:

 

MALE,

 

80s,

 

WINSLOW TOWNSHIP

 

New Case 7:

 

MALE,

 

50s,

 

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP

 

New Case 8:

 

MALE,

 

80s,

 

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP

 

New Case 9:

 

MALE,

 

80s,

 

PENNSAUKEN

 

New Case 10:

 

MALE,

 

90s,

 

HADDON TOWNSHIP

 

New Case 11:

 

FEMALE,

 

90s,

 

VOORHEES

 

“While no one person can decide the trajectory of this crisis on their own, our collective action can stem the tide and flatten the curve,” Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli said. “Our daily average of new cases continues to climb, eclipsing 300 today for the first time.”

On a brighter note, Young and Rianna Deluca, communicable disease investigator for the county, said over 3,000 Camden County residents are getting tested every day. Although more testing infrastructure is now in place than during the first wave of the virus, officials expect to boost it even further in the near future. 

The CDC has provided the following coronavirus safety tips for this holiday season.

Here are a few of their suggested alternative activities

Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you

  • Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.
  • Have people share recipes and show their turkey, dressing, or other dishes they prepared.

Watch television and play games with people in your household

  • Watch Thanksgiving Day parades, sports, and movies at home.
  • Find a fun game to play.

Shopping

  • Shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving and days leading up to the winter holidays.
  • Use contact-less services for purchased items, like curbside pick-up.
  • Shop in open air markets staying 6-feet away from others and wear a mask.

Other Activities

  • Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch).
  • Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family.

Watch Tuesday's press briefing below:

Find TAPinto Camden on Facebook and Twitter. Download the TAPinto mobile app for Android or iOS.