LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP — On Saturday, April 25, Long Beach Township again hosted an update about the impact of Covid-19 on the township and the region.

The four persons presenting in this week's video meeting were Southern Ocean Medical Center CEO Michelle Morrison, Township Commissioner and SOCH doctor Joe Lattanzi, his wife Dr. Kimberly Hogan. The meeting concluded with comments by Mayor Joseph Mancini. 

It is obvious that the Township leadership is on top of the situation and in favor of seeing things open up as soon as is responsibly possible. 

Sign Up for Stafford/LBI Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Today, Monday, April 27 the Governor put out new six point plan that could put a damper on the hopes of the Long Beach Township leadership.  Read Murphy's Latest Six Point Plan below:

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/stafford-slash-lbi/articles/coronavirus-gov-murphy-unveils-6-point-plan-for-reopening-nj-no-timetable-for-lifting-social-distancing-restrictions-43

Lattanzi led the meeting and allowed Morrison, Hogan and Mancini provide most of the information. 

Southern Ocean Medical Center CEO Michelle Morrison

  • Morrison reported that the number of Covid-19 patients has dropped from a high of 49 positive patients to 23 patients hospitalized with the virus on Saturday, April 25.
  • Morrison explained that the hospital was ready if the pandemic were severe in our area. In their preparation, they boosted the total of beds to 240 if they were needed. Thankfully, that was not necessary. 
  • The critical care unit has been expanded and is ready for more patients if necessary in upcoming months. 
  • Morrison also said the hospital is looking forward to bringing back a sense of normalcy such as elective surgeries and other normal aspect of hospital operations. 
  • The hospital also took in 24 patients from other Hackensack Meridian hospitals in North Jersey. They were able to lessen the load for the more heavily affected North Jersey population. 
  • Morrison also mentioned that Saturday was also the seventh day of decline of inpatients at the hospital.

Dr. Kimberly Hogan:

  • Dr. Hogan reported on hospital statistics and normal treatment programs experiencing a downturn. 
  • Hogan commented about state, Ocean County and LBI Covid-19 statistics. 
  • She related that 95% of people who have died were people who were older and if middle-aged had serious poor health conditions. Obesity and diabetes played a big role in the danger of death. 
  • Dr. Hogan spoke about a number of testing options for the virus that are available. 

Mayor Joseph Mancini

  • Mayor Mancini shared that the township is working with its restaurants, bars and other establishments. They are willing to move a majority of indoor seating outdoors to maintain safety and social distancing. 
  • The process begins with the construction department meeting with businesses to assist in planning on transferring seating outside.
  • The police department will also assist to insure safety and assist with curbside pickup.
  • The Township Health Department will ensure that all codes are being observed.
  • In regard to retail stores, Mancini said the process is similar to that of the restaurants and bars, to enable outdoor shopping and maintain distancing. 
  • Mancini said that short-term rentals which are not allowed until May 15, will likely be extended beyond that date. 
  • Mancini anticipated a June 1 opening date and a busy June since schools will be closed, sports camps canceled, no weddings or other parties. 
  • Currently, only homeowners with placards are allowed on the beaches. 

Dr. Lattanzi made this significant comment related to the future opening of the area from his medical perspective: 

“What I’m monitoring very closely, and will continue to monitor, is how many patients are hospitalized. We know that the number of patients that are being tested is going up, and the number of positive tests is going up, by design. … What’s critical is how many of these patients” need hospitalization."