Gov. Murphy: ‘Presumptive positive’ case of coronavirus detected in New Jersey

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Gov. Phil Murphy and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver say that the first “presumptive positive” case of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 has been detected in New Jersey.

The governor says that the patient is a man in his 30s who has been hospitalized in Bergen County since March 3. Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich tells News 12 that the patient is a 32-year-old resident of the town.

“My administration is working aggressively to keep residents safe and contain the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey,” the governor said in a statement. “We take this situation very seriously and have been preparing for this for weeks.”

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According to officials, the presumptive positive result came from a sample tested by the New Jersey Department of Health at the New Jersey Public Health Environmental Laboratories. It is now being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmatory testing.

It was unclear which hospital in Bergen County the patient was being treated at. But state officials say that the hospital is working closely with the Health Department and is following all infectious disease protocols.

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Health officials are also tracing the close contacts of the patient and will alert any members of the public who may have been exposed.

“Any case of novel coronavirus in our state is concerning, however, most New Jersey residents are at very low risk of contracting COVID-19,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness with symptoms similar to the common cold. It can be deadly - mostly to people who are elderly or in poor health.

New Jersey has set up a coronavirus hotline for concerned residents. The number for that hotline is 1-800-222-1222. The hotline is staffed 24/7.

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