Officials gathered to assess the situation and coordinate a response to developments from the spread of the coronavirus.

Officials gathered to assess the situation and coordinate a response to developments from the spread of the coronavirus. 

There are no known cases in the Lake area at this time but based on data on the virus, it is possible COVID-19 is already here. At least for the time being, the response for any upcoming events or gatherings will remain an individual decision. 

Camden County officials from the commission and health department, school superintendents and officials, first responders and representatives of Lake Regional Health System attended the meeting held at the Camden County Courthouse on Thursday. 

Camden County officials were meeting in a closed session following the meeting to discuss protocols specific to the operation of the county. 

Lake Regional Health System, along with county health departments, schools and other agencies are monitoring the spread of the virus through the Center for Disease Control.

The general consensus of those attending was to continue to monitor and respond as needed to the various situations that may arise. Information will be coordinated through Lake Regional and the Camden County Health Department. 

Dr. Harbaksh Sangha, Chief Medical Officer at Lake Regional Health System provided an overview of COVID-19 emphasizing the virus is new and spreads fast. Sangha described the virus as evolving and recommends avoiding social contact to prevent the spread of the virus. 

As in other areas of the country, school operations have been at the center of the discussions. 

At the present time, superintendents and the state would have final call on school cancellations and school districts will coordinate closely with public health departments. 

If Lake Regional thinks someone may have the virus, the state will be contacted and they decide to give the test or not. 

Dane Henry, CEO of Lake Regional Health System, said coronavirus will be treated the same as the flu or any similar condition. 

Takeaways from the meeting:

*Incubation period is 7 to 14 days and symptoms can be very mild. Those 14 days have the highest risk of exposure and it is important that a person have a normal temperature for 24 hours without the aid of medicine before returning to normal activity. 

•According to Dr. Sangha, epidemiologists say 45 to 60 percent of the US population could potentially be infected. It is possible the virus could make a come back in the fall or winter. 

•The virus can spread through droplets by coming within six feet of people who sneeze or cough and can also be spread by touching infected areas. 

•There is no specific treatment. 

•Social isolation is the best preventative measure. 

•Mortality rate higher than the flu but lower than SARS, MERS and Ebola

•The virus is still evolving and has a mortality rate at 1 percent. By comparison, the flu killed 80,000 last year and has a mortality rate of 1 in 1,000