Ocean County was holding steady for most of the summer with a lowering trend of positive Covid-19 cases being reported but when the calendar turned over to September, things changed and more tests are coming back with a confirmed virus diagnoses.

There's been a surprising bump in the road of late with the amount of cases being reported in Ocean County and more than one reason why that's happened.

Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye tells 92.7 WOBM News that recent events that "could be fueling some of the cases itself" but there was also an I.T. issue with the state's reporting system last weekend but there's also a testing site in Ocean County doing batch reporting of the numbers.

"They're doing testing over a two week period, holding onto all those results and reporting them at one time which is not acceptable from a public health perspective and they're required by law to be able to submit those results in real time to the local health authority which in this case is us," Regenye said.

There was a sizable amount reported over the weekend but it doesn't accurately reflect the amount of new cases.

"They were not all new positives, so to speak, they were positive tests for Covid that occurred over a two/two and a half week time period," Regenye said. "Those were positives that if they were reported timely and to the system, they would have been reported over a two/two and a half week time window."

Regenye said his office is working with the state and the testing provider to make sure there is more timely and accurate reporting of positive tests.

"There's two ways of reporting the numbers, one is on the report date which may not be the best indicator and the other one is the date of tests," Regenye said.

There has been a rise in cases and they're working on being able to provide additional testing for residents.

The OCHD recently received 6,000 saliva tests, 4,000 of which went to two federally qualified testing providers/centers (Ocean Health Initiatives and The Center for Health, Education and Dentistry) and 2,000 for school age children and their families.

"CHMED were doing some ramped up testing last week as well and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday they did about 500 tests each day," Regenye said.

There haven't been widespread cases within schools to begin the new academic year to date, thanks to a special School Task Force meeting since May to ensure safety in schools.

"We were on several conference calls with schools over the weekend, just kind of playing out situations that they're dealing with right now," Regenye said.

There has been some sporadic exposure but nothing widespread so far this school year.

"We're not seeing a distribution of the disease within schools and exposure, these are individuals that we believe are being exposed outside of a school setting," Regenye said. "We're not seeing any school transmission from student to student, student to teacher and teacher to student, but we are seeing some isolated cases within a school population but not the exposure or contraction of Covid within the school setting."

The goal is to be able to open up more schools and gets students and staff inside the classroom in a safe and healthy matter.

The recent spike in Covid cases in Ocean County of late is mostly due to batch reporting and a glitch in the state's system but also because people aren't being safe.

In Lakewood, which leads Ocean County in cases (with 4,131 out of 13,347 as of Tuesday morning), and is its most densely populated town has seen a rise of cases since March.

"You have houses that are a little more closer together and families that are larger in size and household contacts is one of the main roots of transmission," Regenye said.

There lies some of the concern when you crunch the numbers.

"For instance, we were working with the state and I'd ask them to pull some numbers related to household size and what came back at that point was that 19 houses accounted for almost 100 cases so you're looking at almost 5 per household," Regenye said. "If one person within that house (or any house anywhere with many people living inside it) contracts Covid and tests positive, the likelihood of that going through the household is pretty high if they can't quarantine somewhere else."

Regenye says they've been working with local and religious leaders to spread the message of getting tested and quarantining within the community.

Here are the reported positive cases of Covid-19 in Ocean County during the month of September:

  • Tuesday September 1: 59 new cases reported bringing total to 11,210.
  • Wednesday September 2: 51 new cases reported bringing total to 11,261.
  • Thursday September 3: 26 new cases reported bringing total to 11,287.
  • Friday September 4: 70 new cases reported bringing total to 11,357.
  • Saturday September 5: 25 new cases reported bringing total to 11,382.
  • Sunday September 6: 38 new cases reported bringing total to 11,420.
  • Monday September 7 : 39 new cases reported bringing total to 11,459.
  • Tuesday September 8 : 16 new cases reported bringing total to 11,475.
  • Wednesday September 9: 27 new cases reported bringing total to 11,502.
  • Thursday September 10: 40 new cases reported bringing total to 11,542.
  • Friday September 11: 64 new cases reported bringing total to 11,606.
  • Saturday September 12: 46 new cases reported bringing total to 11,652.
  • Sunday September 13 : 28 new cases reported bringing total to 11,680.
  • Monday September 14 : 23 new cases reported bringing total to 11,703.
  • Tuesday September 15: 53 new cases reported bringing total to 11,756.
  • Wednesday September 16: 112 new cases reported bringing total to 11,868.
  • Thursday September 17: 91 new cases reported bringing total to 11,959.
  • Friday September 18: 83 new cases reported bringing total to 12,042.
  • Saturday September 19: 71 new cases reported bringing total to 12,113.
  • Sunday September 20 : 60 new cases reported bringing total to 12,173.
  • Monday September 21 : 78 new cases reported bringing total to 12,251.
  • Tuesday September 22: 69 new cases reported bringing total to 12,320.
  • Wednesday September 23: 45 new cases reported bringing total to 12,365.
  • Thursday September 24: 106 new cases reported bringing total to 12,471.
  • Friday September 26: 154 new cases reported bringing total to 12,625.
  • Saturday September 26 207 new cases reported bringing total to 12,832.
  • Sunday September 27 280 new cases reported bringing total to 13,112.
  • Monday September 28 242 new cases reported bringing total to 13,354.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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