March 20, 2020

NJ Announces 155 New Positive Tests for COVID-19; Princeton Has 2 New Cases, 7 in total  

By Donald Gilpin

With officials expecting numbers to surge as testing expands and the coronavirus spreads, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced today, March 20, that there were 155 new positive tests for COVID-19, bringing the total to 890 in the state, with 11 deaths. Murphy urged residents not to be alarmed by rising numbers of cases, and to continue practicing social distancing measures.

In his daily coronavirus press briefing, Murphy said that further restrictions would be implemented in the next 24 hours, including shutting down nonessential businesses in order to “‘further tighten screws in terms of social distancing,” according to

The Princeton Health Department (PHD) announced late this afternoon the sixth and seventh cases of coronavirus identified in Princeton.

The first individual had recently returned from a trip to Spain, was isolated upon returning to the United States, developed symptoms during isolation, and was subsequently tested. There are no known exposures to this individual except household contacts, who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment and procedures, according to the PHD. Those household contacts will be isolated for 14 days.

The second individual was a close contact of an attendee of the February 29 house party, where the infection of the first five Princeton COVID-19 cases apparently originated. The infected individual had been advised of the exposure and was self-isolating in advance of developing symptoms. The infected individuals will be released from isolation, as appropriate, following New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) guidelines, the PHD reported.

NJDOH announced earlier today that there are now 22 positive cases in Mercer County. “Contact tracing including information gathering is underway on the new cases and continuing on the remaining ones where needed,” the NJDOH press release stated. “We expect that these numbers will continue to grow as more testing sites come online.”

“Remember, we’re all in this together,” said Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert in her daily update at  In today’s report, Princeton Health Officer Jeff Grosser emphasized that “social distancing works,” but warned of exponential rises in infection rates.

He noted that additional testing will be available and that will increase the numbers of cases reported, “but that shouldn’t alarm you. Social distancing will work. We will beat this, but it will take time.”

Visit for the latest information from the municipality, Princeton Public Library, and PPS, or visit