Cape May County officials are urging people to continue to practice social distancing. (Image courtesy of American Hospital Association)

Cape May County is reporting no new daily cases of COVID-19 for the first time since April 5.

“People have taken great personal responsibility in keeping safe and we have seen the results,” Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton said in a press release Wednesday. “As we continue to open up our state, we ask people to continue to be smart about keeping six feet distance or wearing a mask when proper social distancing can’t take place.”

Although no new cases were reported Wednesday, overall 639 residents have been infected by the virus countywide and there have been 49 deaths, including 39 at long-term care facilities.

While the number of new COVID-19 cases is trending downward in the county, progress continues to be made in expanding testing options for the disease. Because of the actions taken by residents of social distancing, hand washing, and wearing a mask, the positivity rate has dropped as the amount of testing options increased, according to the release.

For the week between May 17 and May 23, it is calculated that the positivity rate in tests was 2.5 percent.

During this time, at least 2,174 tests were performed, or 310 per day. In total, 56 positive tests were returned during this stretch. The tests are sent to various labs across the country to process. While all the positive tests are returned, it is unclear if all the negatives come back, and the number of tests run per day during that period could be higher as a result. This would only potentially decrease the positivity rate, the release said.

“Our Health Department has done amazing work with the health community and now private companies who are stepping up to providing COVID-19 testing,” said Freeholder Jeff Pierson, liaison to the Health Department. “We continue to see more testing options for residents and encourage anyone who thinks they might have symptoms to get tested.”

Testing locations for COVID-19 now include Cape Regional Urgent Care in Wildwood, Marmora, and Cape May Court House, Cape Regional Hospital, Complete Care Health Network, and CVS in Seaville.

Proof of insurance is not needed at the Cape Regional Urgent Care locations. There are also other out-of-county testing options for people, such as the state testing facilities.