Jersey Shore town pauses recreation program over COVID-19 cases
MANASQUAN — The borough has paused its recreation programs for a week, after two counselors and several others tested positive over a few day span, borough officials said Saturday.
Beach and Recreation Chairman and Council President Mike Mangan said in a video posted to Youtube it is their commitment to keep everyone safe while also keeping local programs "going if at all possible."
Mangan, a father of three young sons, said there is an importance to get kids out to socialize with friends as a crucial part of development, while still being responsible and protecting those at risk of contracting novel coronavirus.
He said there is no indication that the virus is going away any time soon, and right now, they are able to contact trace each of Manasquan's new cases of COVID-19.
One counselor in Manasquan's summer recreation camp and one counselor in the borough junior guard program tested positive, as well as four other staff members of the beach and recreation department, Mangan said to New Jersey 101.5 News.
All of the staff who had contact with those patients were tested as of Friday Mangan said, adding it appears that these 6 cases as well as 4 cases in Sea Girt may be tracked back to the same group of individuals, which is why the borough opted to pause instead of cancel its programs.
As of Saturday, Manasquan had 37 positive cases based on test results, according to Monmouth County health officials.
Mangan said if it gets to the point where they feel they can't accurately contact trace any additional cases or who was exposed, Manasquan summer programs will be canceled.
He said taking a one week pause to assess the extent of the current cases is a measured approach that is "crucial" to how the borough deals with the pandemic over the next few months and beyond.
As of Sunday, New Jersey had 349 new positive cases and an additional 16 deaths reported overnight, bringing the state's COVID-19 data to 175,298 total cumulative cases since March and the total confirmed deaths stemming from the virus to 13,594.
The state's rate of transmission also was back below 1.0, at 0.98, according to state health officials.
More from New Jersey 101.5: