April 13, 2020

Princeton Reports Third COVID-19 Death, Second at Princeton Care Center

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Health Department (PHD) reported today, April 13, the death of a male in his 90s, the third death in Princeton from coronavirus (COVID-19) and the second death of a Princeton Care Center (PCC) resident.

Three additional patients at PCC who have tested positive and those who are symptomatic are being isolated in a separate wing of the facility. Due to the possibility for asymptomatic spread, the PHD is monitoring vital signs for all residents and staff daily, working to have all staff tested, and continuing to reinforce the facility’s universal masking policy. Staff exposed to confirmed COVID-19 patients have been placed in quarantine.

The PHD also reported 62 total cases of COVID-19 in Princeton, with 35 active cases in isolation and 24 cases recovered, with isolation complete.  The PHD attributes the increases to more testing and increased community transmission.

“Because of continued limitations in testing, and because there is growing evidence that the virus can be carried and spread by asymptomatic individuals, we should all presume that the prevalence of coronavirus in our community exceeds those figures,” today’s  PHD update stated. “All residents have been ordered to stay home.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced today that the coronavirus has caused 94 new deaths since Sunday, 2,443 deaths total, and 3,219 new cases for a total of 64,584 COVID-19 cases in the state.

Noting that the COVID-19 death toll now exceeds the number of New Jersey residents who died in the Korean and Vietnam wars, Murphy  said that there were currently 7,781 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, or suspected of having the virus, with 1,886 in critical or intensive care and 1,611 on ventilators, which is 55 percent of the state’s capacity for ventilators. In the last 24 hours 556 COVID-19 patients have been discharged.

Keeping count of COVID-19 cases and tracking the spread of the virus is problematic, officials admitted, because testing has been backed up for as much as 14 days.

Murphy also announced that New Jersey would join with New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Connecticut in developing a regional plan to end the lockdown, remove restrictions, and re-open,  but not before the state is past the peak of new cases and probably not until after the beginning of May.

 The New Jersey Department of Health reported today that the death total in Mercer County has risen to 53, with a total of 1,646 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of 21 counties in the state, Mercer County’s totals are 11th highest in both cases and COVID-19-related deaths.

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