April 16, 2020

Princeton Health Department Monitors Care Facilities as COVID-19 Continues to Spread

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Health Department (PHD) reported today, April 16, five new positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Princeton in the past 24 hours for a total of 74 cases, 35 active and 36 recovered with isolation complete, and three deaths.

The PHD continues to monitor closely the situations at Princeton Care Center and the Acorn Glen assisted living facility. Two of Princeton’s COVID-19-related deaths occurred at the Care Center, where there are currently three active cases, and the PHD announced today that there are two confirmed cases at Acorn Glen, where the PHD is working with the facility’s administration on outbreak management and response, including an isolation plan for those exposed to the confirmed cases.

The PHD also announced today that a Princeton firefighter has tested positive for COVID-19. The firefighter, who began displaying symptoms on Sunday, April 12 and immediately took steps to self-isolate, is not currently hospitalized and continues to show mild symptoms of COVID-19.

The Princeton Fire Department has been employing a continuity of operations plan over the last several weeks, which has limited this exposure to a small group of firefighters, who are self-monitoring for symptoms.

The number of COVID-19-related deaths and cases in Mercer County continued to rise today. The New Jersey Department of Health reported a total of 87 deaths from coronavirus in Mercer County and at least 2,037 cases of the virus.

In his daily press briefing from Trenton, Gov. Phil Murphy reported 362 new fatalities from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, for a total of 3,518 dead in the state, with 4,391 new positive tests for a total of 75,317 total cases.

Officials said that the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state are difficult to count because testing has been backed up for many days and the state is testing only symptomatic residents.

Murphy also announced that all New Jersey schools would remain closed until at least May 15. He claimed that the state’s restrictions and social distancing orders are working but they must continue.  He added that increased mass testing, with help from the federal government, will be necessary before the process of reopening can begin.

Princeton University announced, as of April 15, that Princeton University Health Services is aware of 45 students — three tested on campus and 42 tested off campus — and 22 employees who have tested positive for COVID-19.  All are receiving appropriate treatment.

All University classes were moved to virtual instruction on March 23 through the end of the school year, and most students have left campus.

 Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber, in an April 15 letter to the senior class, announced that the University would hold a virtual graduation ceremony on May 31, 2020 to “officially and enthusiastically” confer degrees to seniors and graduate students. He also invited them to participate on campus in late May 2021 in “a unique commencement ceremony to honor a class that is itself unique in the University’s history.”

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