Data shows Monmouth County has high levels of COVID-19 community spread
Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in New Jersey, particularly in Monmouth County.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Monmouth has high levels of COVID-19 transmission, with just over 400 new cases in about a week. Under the CDC’s new guidance on masks, people in that county should be wearing masks indoors, even if they are fully vaccinated.
“It breaks my heart,” says Freehold Borough Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer.
Towns like Howell and Middletown are seeing cases of the coronavirus in the thousands. Monmouth County sees a rise in tourism during the summer months as people visit parks and the beaches, which could be adding to the spread.
Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners Director Tom Arnone said in part in a statement, “We also recognize that summer visitors who may receive a COVID-19 test, may be giving their summer addresses versus permanent address when asked to provide this information, thus increasing our COVID-19 totals.”
“I know how hard we worked and how committed we were to getting people vaccinated, to getting our Black and brown community vaccinated, to getting everybody vaccinated,” Shutzer says.
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The Freehold Borough Fire Department, in conjunction with the county, ran a COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinic on Thursday. The number of COVID-19 cases in Freehold isn’t as high as in nearby Freehold Township. Residents credit the vaccination clinics.
“For three months, we offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, we offered the Moderna [vaccine] to anybody. No one was turned away. We vaccinated thousands of people there,” says Shutzer.
As of Monday, Freehold Borough saw 1,600 positive cases of the virus, while Freehold Township saw almost 4,000 positive cases.
According to the Monmouth County Health Department, Middletown is leading in the number of positive COVID-19 cases at over 6,500.