Four new possible cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey are awaiting test results, state officials told reporters on Saturday afternoon, according to Planet Princeton. One of the potential cases is a patient in Mercer County.
Test results are expected to be available on Sunday, March 8. The Mercer County patient is currently hospitalized at Capital Health Medical Center-Hopewell in Pennington, N.J. The other three possible cases include two people in Bergen County and one person in Union County.
“If someone tests positive, it will be announced, and that will come from the Governor’s office,” a representative from the N.J. Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Call Center told The Daily Princetonian.
The representative had no information about the four new patients specifically.
The University continues to monitor the evolving situation and will take additional appropriate steps if necessary to support the health and safety of the community, said Deputy University Spokesperson Mike Hotchkiss in an email to the ‘Prince.’
“The emergence of a number of COVID-19 cases in the state is not a surprise but serves as a reminder of the importance of our preparations,” he added.
Hotchkiss noted that a “team of experienced professionals from across the University has been working for weeks to plan for and respond to the global spread of COVID-19.” This team includes staff from University Health Services, the Office of International Programs, Public Safety, Campus Dining, Housing & Real Estate Services, Facilities, the Office of Communications, and many other departments, who, wrote Hotchkiss, are “working through the weekend, taking steps that range from enhanced cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, to supporting students abroad, to preparing resources for online instruction, if needed.”
Fifteen additional potential cases are being investigated, the officials added, according to Planet Princeton. All 15 are hospitalized, and testing for coronavirus is underway. Some or all of the patients “have pneumonia,” and several have been in contact with individuals confirmed to have contracted the virus.
The announcement of the four new cases comes on the heels of four other patients testing positive in New Jersey, including three in Bergen County and one in Camden County. Since the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has yet to officially verify them, those cases are considered “presumed positive.” CDC verification is expected to take place next week.
Additionally, four other individuals in New Jersey “are under active surveillance by the state,” according to Planet Princeton. Over 100 others deemed “medium risk” are under passive surveillance, a process that involves taking their temperatures twice daily to monitor for symptoms of the virus.
State officials told Planet Princeton they anticipate more cases to come.
“Each of us continues to have an important role in protecting the community by taking common-sense prevention steps, such as frequent hand-washing and taking care of yourself if you aren’t feeling well,” wrote Hotchkiss.
This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available.