Cops, residents possibly exposed to COVID-19 at Lakewood officer’s funeral
LAKEWOOD — Ocean County Health Department and township officials are using contact tracing to determine exposure to at least one person who tested positive for COVID-19 and was involved with preparations for the funeral of officer Nicklas Shimonovich.
Shimonovich died in an off-duty motorcycle crash on September 5. His funeral was Friday.
Both civilians and law enforcement were potentially exposed during the viewing and funeral for Shimonovich at FirstEnergy Park, home of the Lakewood BlueClaws, as well as activities during the week, according to county public health coordinator Dan Regyne.
Regyne said the health department met with township and police officials on Wednesday and agreed that creating a timeline would help narrow down who was exposed and when. He also said there may have been more than one person who was positive at the service.
"There may have been different exposures over the course of a couple of days potentially with all the different activities involved. I don't think it points to any specific event. I think the combination of the family coming together and the process of a few days of interaction could have exposed different people," Regyne said.
Testing is available at the county's testing site at Ocean County College in Toms River.
It's not clear how many Lakewood police officers were exposed. Regyne said at least 14 officers were under quarantine. Mayor Ray Coles told the Asbury Park Press that 20 members would have to quarantine.
Police spokesman Greg Staffordsmith would not confirm a number but told New Jersey 101.5 in an email that “a number of officers that are self quarantining” and said that no officers have tested positive.
“The Lakewood Police Department would like to remind all those in attendance to self monitor and encourage those who may be exhibiting signs or symptoms to immediately seek medical attention and/or testing,” Staffordsmith said.
Shimonovich's parents, Lt. Rob Shimonovich and Sgt. Jeanette Shimonovich, are also Lakewood police officers.