CAMDEN, NJ — As Camden County closed in on 200 COVID-19 cases as of Monday, officials in line with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced best practices for travel, as well as information against the use of chloroquine phosphate as a form of treatment.
The domestic travel advisory has been in effect for New Jersey, New York and Connecticut since Saturday - as CDC officials warn against non-essential travel for 14 days with the ongoing community transmission of the virus.
“Our community has a responsibility to the rest of the country to follow these guidelines and reduce the transmission of coronavirus outside of areas that have already been heavily impacted,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli. “This guidance does not change what we have been urging our residents to do for the past two weeks, although it underscores the necessity of immediate action. This virus is known to spread among individuals who are asymptomatic, it can live of surfaces for several days in some cases, and it can have deadly consequences for people of all ages.
In New Jersey, there are at least 16,636 cases of COVID-19 and 198 deaths as of Monday, according to state health officials. Employees of the following industries are not part of the travel advisory: trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply.
"The only remotely assured way to protect yourself and others is to stay home and travel only when necessary. If we all follow this guidance, we can flatten the curve and win this war," said Cappelli.
The county also said that the use of chloroquine phosphate to treat coronavirus is being advised against, following an alert from the CDC.
The CDC reportedly was informed of a couple that ingested the substance, "leaving one dead and another critically ill."
“The CDC has made clear that at this time, there is no miracle cure or prevention sitting unused in your basement or on the shelves of a superstore,” said Cappelli. “There is a stark difference between FDA-approved compounds used to treat specific illnesses and related chemicals used in other items. If you are worried about contracting coronavirus, please follow the steps we have been outlining and do not ingest any substances which have not been prescribed by your physician. Staying inside is your best means of prevention at this time.”
The CDC, according to county officials, has learned of unconfirmed media reports circulating about the commercially-available chemicals being out of stock due to a potential increase in demand.
Additional guidance from the CDC is available here.