cloth mask

Multiple sources are reporting that New Jersey is one of the states with COVID-19 cases on the rise now. reported on March 31, “New Jersey has had the highest rate of new COVID (COVID-19) infections in the nation for a week now.” 


The article also reported, “The number of COVID (COVID-19) patients in New Jersey hospitals is up 30% over the last three weeks, to 2,329. That's higher than any day since mid-February.”


Katherine Howard, a nursing instructor at MC, said, “I think the most important thing to stress is that everyone must obtain information and recommendation updates from reputable sources, such as the CDC and NJ Department of Health.  ”


Jacob Forbes, a MC student, said, "I want this nightmare to end. It has affected our ability to work, learn and enjoy the company of those close to us, as a conspiratorial culture stirred up by conservative propaganda convinced a handful of Americans to reject basic safety precautions.” 


Howard said, “There is a tremendous amount of misinformation on social media that is not correct or scientifically credible. That information can lead to poor decision making and an increased risk of exposure.” 


Forbes said, “With more than half  a million citizens dead, I thought it was finally over, especially now that the vaccine has arrived to supposedly save the day. However, it seems to me that people forgot that fair protection against most strains of COVID-19 requires one to have received both shots, alongside the previous implementations of social distancing, sanitization and mask-wearing. It's not as simple as one being immune; instead, we must also stop particles from spreading in the first place.” 


Howard said, “The increase in cases has been attributed to several factors: the increase in variant strains, the loosening of restrictions and people not continuing to follow the CDC guidelines on a personal level.”


Forbes said he takes COVID-19 safety precautions seriously and is always sure to wear a mask, keep his distance, and follow the usage of masks and sanitization in public.


Forbes said, “All I hope is that I am not the only one." 


Clara Melvin, a MC student, said that she is worried about the rise in cases.  


“I know that since we are getting closer to having a majority of people being vaccinated, many people feel like the pandemic is over. Since that is not the case, people need to keep staying inside and protected until we are told we can do otherwise. I think that New Jersey residents need to be a little bit more patient,” said Melvin.


Howard said, “It is important to continue to follow the ongoing CDC Guidelines: get vaccinated when available, get tested if symptomatic, maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet, wear a mask that covers both nose and mouth when in public or having contact with persons outside your household, wash your hands for 20 seconds frequently, and clean and disinfect surfaces frequently.”


Mike Rosario, a nurse at Medemerge in Green Brook, said, “In the past few months, cases have not risen, but in the last two to three weeks, they have.”


“New Jersey is the lead in the country in rising cases and 9 out of 10 patients are completely asymptomatic,” Rosario said.


Rosario said if the COVID-19 test detects even the slightest bit of dead virus in you, you will be positive and if you are sick, just stay home. 


Paula Choj, a registered nurse at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, said, “Surgically, we’re doing more COVID-19 positive cases then we did when COVID-19 first started.”


Choj said, “I think the cases are rising because people think that now that they have the vaccine, they don't need to take all the precautions.”


Another registered nurse at Overlook Medical Center, Andrea Maio, said, “I think COVID-19 cases are rising because more people are out and about. People are getting antsy and don't want to be in quarantine and lockdown anymore. They want to see family and friends, and they are kind of neglecting the rules because they want to be free.”


Forbes said, “Seeing the number of COVID-19 cases rise, once again, despite our entire history with this pandemic is not as terrifying as it is saddening as well as frustrating, because the solution is not any more nuanced than what we should already be used to, and innocent citizens and doctors are still paying the price for our ignorance.”


A nurse at Saint Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, Damaris Rodriguez, said, “I have seen that cases are rising within the last few weeks and it is scary. I read an article by the CDC, and I believe an employee said they are scared because there are different and new strains of COVID-19. I am vaccinated by choice, but this pandemic is still new, as are the vaccines, so it is frightening.”


CDC’s Guidelines to Slow the Spread 

Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.

Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.

Get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you.

Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.


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