At least 20 lifeguards in NJ test positive for coronavirus after gathering

At least 20 lifeguards in NJ test positive for coronavirus after gathering
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At least 20 lifeguards on Long Beach Island (LBI), N.J., tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a party together, according to health officials. 

Jonathan Oldham, the mayor of LBI township Harvey Cedars, said the borough clerk was informed of the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday by the LBI Health Department's director, according to NJ.com

"I just heard that they were together, exactly where they were or what it was, I'm not sure, but I'm under the understanding that they were together at an event," Oldham told NJ.com on Friday.

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Officials from the LBI Health Department said more than 20 lifeguards had been infected.  

The Hill has reached out to the department to clarify the exact number of lifeguards reportedly infected but did not immediately hear back.

The mayor added that the lifeguards, about dozen each from Harvey Cedars and Surf City, would be quarantined and not allowed to work again without a physician's approval. 

The health department's director, Daniel Krupinski, told Philadelphia public radio station WHYY on Friday that the department received reports of COVID-19 infections of the Surf City lifeguards on July 18 and Harvey Cedars lifeguards on July 19.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday that New Jersey had reported a steady drop in new coronavirus cases for the past two weeks.

Despite the hopeful trends, Oldham said he was concerned over the recent cluster of cases, encouraging residents to maintain a safe distance and wear a mask.

The number of deaths related to the virus elevated slightly this week according to a report on Friday, with 36 new fatalities, bringing the state total of deaths to 15,765.