March 13, 2020

First Presumptive Positive Case of Coronavirus in Princeton

By Anne Levin

A 49-year-old female resident of Princeton is the town’s first positive case of COVID-19. According to the Princeton Health Department, which is awaiting final confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the woman attended the private party with two people from the Boston area who subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.

The woman began experiencing mild illness on March 3. She reported attending two events after her symptoms began. The first event took place in Staten Island on March 7 at a dance festival. The second event was a meeting at the Princeton Medical Center on March 9. She has been isolating at home starting the evening of March 9.

The Princeton Health Department has contacted the event coordinators for both locations to further identify any possible exposure. The Health Department was notified of presumptive positive results for this individual from the New Jersey Department of Healths Public Environmental Health Laboratory today, March 13.

The Princeton Health Department was notified of the February 29 party and potential exposure to coronavirus the evening of March 9. Since then, all individuals attending that party have been instructed to stay home as if they tested positive. With a presumed positive result, the health department is now empowered to impose stricter limits to the close contacts of this individual.

“As more cases are observed throughout New Jersey, we are urging people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, and the elderly to practice social distancing by avoiding non-essential travel, public events, community gatherings, and indoor venues,” reads a press release issued Friday afternoon from the Princeton Health Department. “Everyone and every organization has to do their part to help slow the spread of this virus.”

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