Fourth Presumptive Coronavirus Case in NJ, Schools Asked to Plan for Possible Closures

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Coronaviruses are named after the “crown-like” spikes they exhibit on their surface. “Corona” is Latin for “crown.” (Image credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

TRENTON, N.J. — According to a statement from Governor Phil Murphy’s office, a fourth presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus has been found by New Jersey officials. The patient who was tested is a man in his 50s and is being treated at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Bergen County. He has been in care since March 5.

The statement continued: “The presumptive positive result came from a sample tested by the New Jersey Department of Health at the New Jersey Public Health Environmental Laboratories and is now being submitted to the CDC for confirmatory testing. State and local public health authorities are proceeding with the public health investigation and response activities as if this was a confirmed case and following all infectious disease protocols.”

In addition to the four presumptive positive cases already announced, there are four more individuals who are awaiting test results. According to state officials, these four people are from Bergen, Mercer, and Union counties. State officials could know the results of those tests as early as Sunday.

This latest presumptive case of novel coronavirus in New Jersey joins the other two in Bergen County and one in Camden County.

A memo was sent out on March 5 by the New Jersey Department of Education asking all boards of education to “develop a school health-related closure preparedness plan to provide home instruction in the event of [school closures.]”

In fact, schools in the Cranford School District will be closed on March 16, according to a letter sent to parents by superintendent Scott Rubin. It says to “please note that all Cranford Public Schools will now be closed for students on Monday, March 16th, so that we can develop strong and meaningful plans for your children in the event of school closures due to the coronavirus. We are also planning to use this time for additional disinfecting of all our buildings.”

Governor Murphy’s statement on Friday, said: “My Administration is working aggressively to keep residents safe and contain the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey […] We take this situation very seriously and have been preparing for this for weeks. I urge residents to remain calm and use resources from the New Jersey Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control to prepare and prevent the spread of infection. Safeguarding the public’s health is one of my highest priorities and my Administration is prepared to respond swiftly to any additional positive cases of COVID-19 here in New Jersey.”

U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) also released the following statement: “I am closely monitoring the presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Camden County, and I am continuing to work with federal, state and local officials and health care organizations to ensure they have the all the information and resources necessary to protect our communities.”

In nearby Pennsylvania, there are four presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus, according to Governor Tom Wolf. Two Montgomery County cases were announced on Saturday, March 7. These, combined with the one from Delaware County, Pennsylvania and the case from Wayne County, Pennsylvania, make four total for the state.

All of the presumptive positive cases have been sent to the CDC for confirmatory testing.

This week, Congress approved $8.3 billion in emergency funding to assist the United States’ response to the novel coronavirus as well as increase research efforts and protect Americans.

The New Jersey Department of Health has a 24-hour free public call center which is available at 1-800-222-1222.

For more information about COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus, check the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html


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