PRINCETON STRONG news – Princeton, NJ: Office of the Mayor reports 3.15.2020.

Three Additional Cases of COVID-19 Identified

The Princeton Health Department (PHD) announces the municipality has three additional cases of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). These individuals attended a house party on February 29th where two attendees subsequently tested positive for coronavirus and had been isolated and monitored since the Health Department became aware of the exposures on March 9, 2020.

These three cases, in addition to the first case reported on Friday, March 13, bringing Princeton’s total confirmed coronavirus infections to four. All four individuals attended the February 29 social gathering. Based on interviews with health officials, the individuals report being in the following locations while potentially infectious:

Stuart Country Day School – March 4, 2020 thru March 9, 2020
Rutgers University – March 5, 2020 thru March 9, 2020
University of Delaware – March 6, 2020

Each of the locations above have been notified of the individual’s exposure and symptoms 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 with these individuals.

All identified cases in Princeton have so far been directly associated with this particular event. However, as several of the persons involved were in the community prior to being requested to isolate, we must presume some level of community exposure has occurred. All people of Princeton, especially those at highest risk, should monitor their own health, as outlined below.

As more cases are observed throughout New Jersey, we are urging all people to practice social distancing:
• Avoid non-essential travel, public events, community gatherings, and indoor venues.
• Keep at least six feet between yourself and another person in all public places
• Avoid close contact, including handshakes and hugging
• Limit in-person meetings and gatherings

Those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and the elderly are strongly encouraged to stay at home. Everyone and every organization has to do their part to help slow the spread of this virus.

Individuals can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses such as COVID-2019 and other diseases by practicing basic infection control on a daily basis.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
• Facemasks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and those directly caring for people who are sick and by people who are sick.
• Get a flu immunization if you have not done so this season.

Testing for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)
Testing may be available through your healthcare provider. Please contact them to discuss if you should be tested. Your healthcare provider will review your specific symptoms and make the clinical decisions as to whether to order the test. Capital Health Regional Medical Center will be opening a screening center within the next few days to provide additional testing capacity. Princeton Health Department does not do the testing and does not provide primary care.

Based upon New Jersey Department of Health guidance, individuals with no symptoms are not recommended to be tested. Individuals with mild symptoms should stay home if they are sick and follow the guidance of their health care provider.

You should also call a doctor if you have had close contact with a person who has COVID-19.