December 13, 2021
From Daniel Frese, Morris County Health Officer

I want to provide an update as we plan for addressing COVID during these winter months.  COVID cases in our area have increased, hospitalizations are up, and deaths have followed.  The vast majority of current cases are the Delta variant. Our vaccination rates are still low, with vaccinations of children much lower than we had hoped. This has set the stage for Delta infections to surge and [or new variants such as Omicron to gain a foothold. Some people have expressed hope that Omicron will be so contagious and perhaps less severe that it will give us an end to the pandemic. However, there is much likelihood that the greater numbers of infections would overwhelm our healthcare system and cause unacceptable levels of death, disability, and hospitalization. The pandemic is not over, We are tired of it, yes. But it is not over. It is imperative that we continue mitigation measures. Some people wish to discontinue mitigation measures and then reinstate them when case numbers rise to certain levels. This certainly does not follow CDC guidance, and is not a reasonable course of action. That is like closing the proverbial barn door after the horse has already bolted. In other words, contagion would quickly be out of control and spread through our community, and hospitalizations, long-term effects, and death would follow.

We know what works to limit the spread of COVID and spare lives, and that is vaccination, masking, distancing, and hygiene. We urge you to get vaccinated, have your children vaccinated, get a booster if you are eligible, and wear masks. These measures will reduce contagion, hospitalizations, and deaths. This will not only help save you and your friends and family, hut will help many others throughout our community.

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