Making sense of the variety of tests being put into service to help stem the coronavirus pandemic and save lives
By Lilo H. Stainton, NJSpotlight
Like leaders in other states hard-hit by the novel coronavirus, Gov. Phil Murphy has repeatedly stressed that New Jersey’s public health and economic revival must be rooted in widespread, rapid-result testing of residents.
New Jersey hasn’t yet been able to model an anticipated surge in demand for hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients because it doesn’t have data on the effects of social distancing, but there are signs that hospitals will be able to cope, according to the state’s Commissioner of Health, Judith Persichilli.
The state’s health officials have been using CHIME, a tool for COVID-19 hospital capacity planning, which Penn Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania issued in mid-March. The tool, which has been made available to health care providers in 150 countries via open-source software, allows users to input data including the percentage of infected patients who have been hospitalized; the number of patients currently hospitalized, and the population a hospital system serves.
The resulting model also relies on the degree to which social distancing has reduced social contact, and that data wasn’t yet available, Persichilli said at Gov. Phil Murphy’s Friday briefing on the pandemic.
A water main break on Oceanport Ave at the County Bridge S-25 has caused an emergency closure between Silverside Ave in Little Silver and Main St. in Oceanport, according to a statement released by the Monmouth County Department of Tourism and Public Information.
Tricia Ring Wadja of the Information Office told MMM that the bridge will reopen today at 2PM and will be open with an alternate lane traffic feed tomorrow, February 4.
New Jersey American Water Company is performing the emergency repair work, which is expected to be completed tomorrow afternoon.
Customers may now use handheld garden hoses for outdoor purposes, every other day, between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., and again from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. With very limited exceptions, lawn sprinkler irrigation system use is still banned. Even with the easing of the ban’s restrictions, New Jersey American Water is strongly advising its Monmouth County customers to continue conserving water both inside and out. If strict conservation measures are not followed then it may be necessary to reinstitute a stringent outdoor water ban.
The odd/even schedule is effective beginning today and entails:
Handheld garden hose outdoor water use between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on odd-numbered days of the month if your street address is an odd number (i.e., 23 Oak St., 7 Maple Ave.)
Handheld garden hose outdoor water use between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on even-numbered days of the month if your street address is an even number (i.e., 6 Oak St., 354 Maple Ave.)
Watering of new sod or seed if daily watering is required (note: it is recommended that any planting of new sod or seed that has not already taken place be delayed until the fall)
Use of private wells for irrigation
Commercial uses of outdoor water, such as for nurseries, farm stands, power washing, plumbing, athletic fields, and car washes
As the system continues to stabilize, customers may experience discolored water. New Jersey American Water recommends running the water until clear. However, the discolored water could be used for the watering of shrubs and garden plants.
Connecticut engineering firm will determine the cause of the failure
Photo credit: New Jersey American Water Company
New Jersey America Water Company announced today that the “temporary fix” of water mains at the Swimming River Water Treatment Plant have been completed, they “hope.” The company is evaluating the stability of the system before lifting the ban on outdoor water usage for the company’s Monmouth County customers. They hope to be able to lift the outdoor water use ban in the near future.
The company’s statement said that the 24 inch water main pictured to the left is sending 12,000 gallons per day of treated water to Middletown.
Peter Escbach, NJAWC’s spokesperson, told the Asbury Park Press that confidential company reports indicated that the two evalutions of the site following Tropical Storm Irene, one by the company and another by an independent contractor, showed that the bridge and water mains that failed last week continued to meet manufacturers standards despite the slight movenment of the pipes and damage to the bridge caused by the August 2011 storm.
Well water nourishing the Asbury Park Press grass roots
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden told MMM that repairs to the water mains at NJWAC’s Swimming River Water Treatment Plant are going better than expected and that the restrictions on outdoor water usage may not last weeks as many have feared.
If NJAWC’s progress continues at the present pace, alternate day outdoor usage could be permitted in towns serviced by NJAWC next week.
Golden said the outdoor ban is a public safety measure in the event of a fire. NJAWC is bringing water in from neighboring water companies to service its Monmouth County customers and water pressure remains below normal. Monmouth County and State officials are requiring water conservation to ensure that resources are available to respond to a life threaten event if necessary.
Only properties with well water, like the Asbury Park Press in Nepture Township, are permitted to water lawns, wash cars, etc.
“If you see something, say something” is the slogan of a government campaign, originally deployed by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to encourage citizens to report potential terrorist activity to the authorities before something catastrophic happens.
The “major infrastructure failure” at New Jersey American Water Company’s Swimming River water treatment plant last week that resulted in no water for thousands of Monmouth County residents, a boiling water advisory for hundreds thousand of residents, and that will likely result in dead gardens, empty pools and dirty cars for the rest of the summer is an unfortunate lesson that we need to “say something” when our public utility companies are apparently putting our health at risk.
If you live in Aberdeen, Highlands, Holmdel, or Middletown, keep boiling your water before consumption.
New Jersey American Water Company, Monouth OEM and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection have lifted the boil water advisory for:
• Deal Borough
• Eatontown Borough
• Fair Haven Borough
• Lake Como Borough
• Little Silver Borough
• Loch Arbor Village
• Long Branch City
• Monmouth Beach Borough
• Neptune Township
• Ocean Township
• Oceanport Borough
• Rumson Borough
• Sea Bright Borough
• Shrewsbury Borough
• Shrewsbury Township
• Tinton Falls Borough
• West Long Branch Borough
Bottled water will continue to be distributed to residents of Aberdeen, Highlands Holmdel and Middletown at Middletown High School North, 63 Tindal Road, Middletown, from the hours of 8am-7pm. Residents are also encouraged to bring there own water jugs for filling at this location.
Residents of the towns where the boil water advisory has been lifted should run all cold water faucets for one minute at a time at the highest flow possible without causing splashing or flooding of drains. Flush all automatic ice makers, make three batches of ice and discard. Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle. Run drinking water fountains at the highest flow possible for one minute.
The outdoor water usage ban remains in effect in all 22 towns affected by the NJAWC infrastructure failure.