CAMDEN, NJ — New Jersey prisons have reported 3,321 COVID-19 cases (2,540 inmates and 781 employees) and 45 deaths as of Tuesday.
Despite steadily growing numbers, Camden County has managed to remain unscathed three months into the outbreak, officials said during a virtual press briefing Tuesday.
“[While] many other counties and state prisons have had a big problem with COVID-19 in their jails. We have kept it out and again, it’s just a great reflection of the work being done by the work of the employees in Camden County,” Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli said this morning while knocking on wood.
The correction facility halted in-person visits in mid-March as part of its “pandemic response policy” — which includes temperature checks during booking and release and informing staff and inmates over hygienic practices necessary to limit exposure.
Camden County itself has now reached a growth rate below zero, meaning new cases have become much less frequent. Today, 19 new positive cases were announced and six additional deaths — leading health department officials to continue to beckon residents to take steps to avoid spread.
“Remember we cannot rest on our laurels, efforts must continue to prevent a second wave,” Cappelli said.
The county now has 7,408 aggregate cases and 416 deaths - 1,734 cases and 286 deaths are known to have originated at long-term care facilities.
“Although our cases are down and much of our economy is reopening, this progress can be quickly undone if we do not continue to strictly adhere to the recommendations of our public health experts,” Cappelli said in a statement following the press conference. “Managing this crisis will be much more like running a marathon than a sprint, but we can get to the finish line if we work together to prevent the spread of this deadly disease.”