Third U. staff member presumed positive for COVID-19, three new presumed positive cases in town| March 15, 2020
On Sunday, a third University staff member tested positive for COVID-19, according to an exclusive statement to The Daily Princetonian from Deputy University Spokesperson Mike Hotchkiss.
Hotchkiss stated that although there is no further information regarding the third staff member at this time, all protocols and procedures from the two previous staff members who tested positive would apply in this case. On Saturday, March 14, a second staff member had tested positive, and the University stated on its website that the person remains in self-isolation and that the administration is “working to ensure they have the support and access to care that they need.”
Also on Sunday, the Princeton Health Department (PHD) confirmed three additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the municipality of Princeton, bringing the total number of presumptive positives to four. All four of these cases have been linked to a party on Feb. 29. According to the municipal department, all presumptive positives in Princeton “have so far been directly associated with this particular event.”
There is no information at this time as to whether the third staff member is one of the three additional presumptive cases the municipality announced.
The PHD statement noted that the three individuals who tested positive reported being at the University of Delaware on March 6, the Stuart Country Day School in Princeton from March 4 to March 9, and Rutgers University from March 5 to March 9 “while potentially infectious.”
Each of these locations have been notified of the individual’s presumptive positive tests “to allow the identification of close contacts and to increase awareness of those exposed for potential development of symptoms, and to encourage isolation of those who may be at risk from contact.”
The press release also noted that it must be assumed that “some level of community exposure has occurred” and that Princeton residents, especially the elderly, pregnant women, and people with underlying conditions should be vigilant about their health and practice social distancing. PHD recommends that those especially at risk should consider staying at home.
These three new cases brings the total number of presumptive positives in Princeton to four. The first is a University staff member who also attended the Feb. 29 party.