April 24, 2020

Princeton, State Officials Step Up Efforts to Flatten Curve on COVID-19

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton Health Department (PHD) reported today, April 24, five new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Princeton in the past two days for a total of 98 positive cases, 50 active positive cases. There have been five COVID-19-related deaths reported in Princeton, four at the Princeton Care Center (PCC).

The PHD, under guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), continues to work closely with the staff at PCC and also with staff at Acorn Glen assisted living facility. There were 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at PCC and seven at Acorn Glen as of April 20, according to the NJDOH.

In Wednesday’s update, Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert and the Princeton Council highlighted the community’s efforts to implement thorough contact tracing to help contain and stop the spread of the coronavirus. The PHD has been working to track down and warn all the people who have been in close contact with infected individuals.

The PHD has recently increased its contact tracing capacity by training school nurses to assist the effort. The need for contact tracing is expected to grow as testing becomes more widely available. Contact tracing, the PHD notes, relies on the cooperation of individuals who have been infected, and all of those who’ve been exposed have a duty to quarantine themselves so that the virus, if they get it, stops with them.

Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mercer County, as of April 23, were 2,991 with 163 COVID-19-related deaths.

In his coronavirus briefing today, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy reported 253 new deaths in the past 24 hours for a total in 5,617 COVID-19-related deaths in New Jersey, and a total of 102,196 total cases, with 3,047 new positive tests.

There were 6,847 COVID-19 patients in New Jersey hospitals as of 10 p.m. April 23, with 1,933 in critical care, 1,497 on ventilators, and 98 patients at the state’s field medical stations.

Murphy noted that restrictions on individuals and businesses must stay in effect for at least a few more weeks, to make sure that the rate of infections continues to drop and does not surge again. He strongly urged residents to stay at home and continue social distancing. He said the state has to significantly boost its daily testing as well as its contact tracing and quarantine programs before restrictions can be loosened.

The actual number of COVID-19 infections may be much greater than confirmed case numbers because of testing back-ups and the fact that the state is testing only symptomatic patients.

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