HAMMONTON, N.J. - There is concern in Hammonton, New Jersey over high coronavirus numbers. The numbers started shooting up this month in the Atlantic County town. So, what is causing the uptick?
“Honestly, I know, in the beginning, it was the senior citizen center. It wasn’t that anybody was doing anything wrong. It got in there and it flew like wildfire, like it did in many senior centers everywhere. I don’t know what it is now, to be perfectly honest,” stated Hammonton resident Shawn Ingram.
“I don’t think it’s in the water, but if you go around restaurants and stuff, everybody wants to do the inside thing. They don’t want to stay outside,” Phyliss Chimppine remarked.
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Some residents think their neighbors are simply COVID deniers, despite the fact there are more than 760 cumulative cases and 57 deaths in a town of 15,000. That’s about the same number of cases as Egg Harbor Township with 47,000 residents with 779 cases and 23 deaths.
“They didn’t know how to deal with it, in the beginning. They just started now putting people in quarantine. But, in the beginning, a lot of people were getting sick,” explained one senior citizen facility employee.
Two employees from one of Hammonton’s two senior citizen facilities spoke of the experiences with COVID-19.
The New Jersey Department of Health says among both senior citizen facilities, they’ve had almost 300 cases between patients and staff and dozens of deaths, contributing to the high number in town.
“How do you keep yourself safe,” asked FOX 29’s JoAnn Pileggi.
“Using protective masks and gloves,” explained one of the employees.
“We get tested every week here and today, they’re going to test us,” replied the other employee.
Residents also say high school students aren’t practicing social distancing and following rules. The high school switched to all virtual learning last week after a teacher tested positive.
“I think people are just tired of wearing masks, but I think the thing is if you don’t wear it, you’re not protected,” Chimppine added.
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