MANAHAWKIN, NJ — Despite a recent spike in Ocean County coronavirus, there aren’t many patients with the virus at Southern Ocean Medical Center. In fact, the hospital only has one COVID-19 inpatient, a spokesperson told Patch on Tuesday afternoon.
Ocean County reported 2,241 new cases from Sept. 21 through Tuesday, bringing the area to 14,456 cases since the pandemic began. The Ocean County Health Department reported 108 new cases Sept. 11 — its first triple-digit day since May 27 — and has logged several triple-digit days since.
Despite this, there are several factors that could contribute to fewer hospitalizations in Southern Ocean, such as greater knowledge of the virus and more effective treatments, according to health officials.
“We’ve also been seeing many COVID-19 cases of the mild to moderate type in which people are recovering in a few days and not needing the longterm care,” said OCHD spokesperson Brian Lippai.
Concerns from state officials regarding Ocean County have also centered outside the southern area. The bulk of the new cases have been in Lakewood, which had a positivity rate of 27.82, State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Friday.
She also said that cases have spiked in Jackson, Lacey and Stafford but did not provide specific numbers.
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Hospitalization totals have gradually decreased around the state since New Jersey’s coronavirus outbreak peaked last spring. State officials reported 6,127 patients getting treated at hospitals April 29. That figure totaled 591 as of Tuesday.
It’s difficult to gather local hospitalization trends based off publicly available data. The state reports current hospitalized patients regionally. The Health Department places Ocean County in the “Central Region,” which has gone from 1,793 inpatients April 29 to 180 Tuesday.
Despite fewer hospitalizations, local health officials said people still need to be vigilant.
“We still aren’t out of the woods,” Lippai said, “and people need to continue to take the pandemic very seriously and adhere to all safety precautions especially as we head into the heart of the flu season combined with the holiday season.”
Read more: NJ Coronavirus, Reopen Updates: Here’s What You Need To Know
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This article originally appeared on the Barnegat-Manahawkin Patch