The number of Hightstown residents who have newly tested positive for COVID-19 has leveled out over the past month, as only three new cases have been reported between June 8 and July 6, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.
There are 142 Hightstown residents who have been infected with COVID-19 since the first case was reported on March 23, officials said. The last reported case occurred June 24. There have been no new cases since that date.
While it is not known how many Hightstown residents have succumbed to the disease, officials do know that underlying health conditions make victims more susceptible to dying from complications due to COVID-19. Those underlying health conditions include heart disease, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, lung disease such as asthma and emphysema, and obesity, officials said. The risk of death for victims of COVID-19 whose high blood pressure is not under control is twice the rate of death of those whose high blood pressure is being managed well.
Overall, people with underlying health conditions are six times more likely to be hospitalized if they contract COVID-19, and 12 times more likely to die from it than people who do not have underlying medical conditions, officials said.
There are steps that people can take to stay healthy, such as managing underlying health conditions. They can also wash their hands often, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as light switches and other household items.
They can practice social distancing, which means keeping at least six feet between themselves and others, and wearing a mask when they are in public and cannot maintain social distancing.
Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order July 8 that mandates wearing a mask in public if social distancing cannot be maintained. Masks already must be worn by those entering stores and other confined spaces.