Ocean County Sheriff says Coronavirus is changing the way we do things
As the Covid-19 coronavirus continues to run its course, Emergency Management Officials in Ocean County are making adjustments to address each new situation that takes place.
"There are things that come up that you didn't think would come up that you have to take care of and you take them one on one and make a decision based on the information that you have," Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardy told WOBM News.
Ocean County Emergency Management and Ocean County Health Department officials are continuing to meet daily to not only address the ongoing pandemic but be prepared for any future events.
Mastronardy says it's been a coordinated response effort between the health department and OEM.
"The health department gave us upwards of 8,000 masks that we distributed out through OEM," Mastronardy said.
However, getting enough supplies to this point has been difficult but he said that county government officials are working on getting additional supplies that can be redistributed throughout the county.
"You do what you can to prepare as far as supplies go and we know what we're going to need if a future virus comes and we will I'm sure make adjustments to have those on stockpile so we don't have to rely on trying to get vendors," Mastronardy said. "We're buying equipment now that will be available for the next virus, so to speak, and we're preparing for the next one as we're going thru this one."
There are a number of restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as well as reminders to practice good hygiene habits and social distancing.
Sheriff Mastronardy says what we're doing now and after the virus is gone is adapting to changes in our society like we did following 9/11.
"This is certainly a 9/11 moment for all of us because after 9/11 our lives changed and after this situation abates our lives are going to change forever, we're going at things differently such as how we greet people, etc.," Mastronardy said.
He believes something like washing your hands with soap and water is going to become a more common part of what we do on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, the final warnings have been given for residents ignoring Governor Murphy's 'Do Not Gather' directive as well as non-essential businesses staying open.
In Ocean County, Sheriff Mastronardy said there was some confusion before the directive was given, in the northern part of the county, but everyone has been compliant ever since.
"Initially there was some confusion in some northern communities in the county but at this time all the chiefs are reporting that there is compliance," Mastronardy said. "The question came up with some businesses that were questioning 'should they open, shouldn't they' and those questions have been fielded thru the Office of Emergency Management and we've been dealing with them one a one by one basis with local authorities."
As for any future social gatherings that occur in Ocean County from this point forward, Sheriff Mastronardy said "they'll be handled on a case by case basis."
The residents of Ocean County will also play a big role in helping slow down the spread of the virus.
"We are working diligently and I can't thank the residents of Ocean County enough for paying attention, being diligent and that's the way we're going to get through this, with their cooperation," Mastronardy said.