April 3, 2020

Princeton COVID-19 Cases Rise to 37

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Health Department (PHD) reported six new positive cases of COVID-19 today, April 3, bringing the total number of cases in Princeton to 37, with 25 active cases and 11 who are no longer under isolation. PHD yesterday reported the first death in Princeton from the coronavirus, a woman in her 90s who may have contracted the disease from a home health aide.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced today 113 new COVID-19 related deaths in the state for a total of 646 deaths with 4,372 new cases confirmed in the last 24 hours for a total of at least 29,895 cases. Murphy also urged New Jersey residents to fly flags at half-staff as a visual memorial to the coronavirus victims.  COVID-19 is now the most common cause of death in the state, which has the second most cases in the country after New York.

The PHD also announced yesterday that a Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad (PFARS) member has tested positive for COVID-19. The member began displaying symptoms on March 26 and immediately took steps to self-isolate. The squad member is currently not hospitalized, and the member’s COVID-19 symptoms have subsided.

The Squad member had contact with the public on one occasion during the period of communicability, but the instance posed little to no threat of exposure because the member was wearing protective equipment. All PFARS members who had direct contact with the member have been notified by PFARS or the PHD.

The exposure has been limited to a small group of squad members who are all currently being quarantined. PFARS disinfected all areas of the building and ambulances (which are decontaminated after every use) immediately after learning that the member was not feeling well.

Mercer County announced today a total of 484 positive test results and five deaths in the County. Mercer has the 11th most cases of the 21 counties in the state.

Mercer County’s drive-up COVID-19 testing center at Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence completed its fourth day today. Testing is by appointment only for symptomatic Mercer County residents age 18 or older who have a prescription from their primary care provider.

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes reported at the end of the day yesterday that the site had tested 266 patients and had not had to turn anyone away because of a lack of test kits.

In a letter to the Mercer County community today, Hughes wrote, “This week, Mercer County saw its first deaths due to coronavirus disease. The fact that it was inevitable makes it no less painful. Sadly, there will be more deaths related to COVID-19. We also know there is community spread and expect to see the number of positive cases increase as more people are tested. This pandemic represents an unprecedented crisis.”

Hughes went on to urge the community to adhere to the governor’s directive to stay home, to practice social distancing if going out is necessary, and to take everyday preventive measures: washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

For more information, visit princetoncovid.org or covid19.nj.gov.