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New Jersey announces first coronavirus death, total cases increases to 15

A 69-year-old man from Bergen County was first hospitalized for the coronavirus on March 6 after his fever and cough symptoms were not improving with treatment.  – Photo by

State officials announced Tuesday that a 69-year-old man from Bergen County has died from coronavirus (COVID-19), making him the first death in New Jersey, according to an article on NJ Advance Media.

“We are sad to report the first death in a case of COVID-19 in New Jersey,” said state officials, according to the article. “Our prayers are with the family during this difficult time. We remain vigilant to doing all we can — across all levels of government — to protect the people of New Jersey.”

The total number of positive cases in New Jersey has risen to 15, according to the article. Officials from the New Jersey Department of Health said an additional 20 pending tests are at the state lab and another 31 people are currently under investigation. There were 44 people who have already tested negative.

The 69-year-old man had pre-existing health conditions and is among the four new presumptive positive coronavirus cases revealed from the state’s lab on Tuesday, according to the article.

The man had a fever and cough that was being treated with antibiotics and tamiflu, but was admitted to Hackensack University Medical Center on March 6 when his condition did not improve, according to the article. He also regularly traveled between New Jersey and New York, but had no history of international travel.

There are now coronavirus cases in 7 of the 21 counties in New Jersey, according to the article.

On Monday, New Jersey declared a state of emergency as a result of the rising cases of COVID-19 throughout the state, according to The Daily Targum.

"The State of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource, across all levels of government, to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,” Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) said, according to the Targum.

State officials are also urging residents to have two weeks worth of food, water and medicine in the event that they have to self-quarantine, according to the Targum. New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli also said they should keep personal prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.

“If someone is placed in quarantine for 14 days, we’re urging people not to go out in the community,” Persichilli said, according to the Targum.

New Jersey state’s epidemiologist Tina Tan said they are currently investigating each case to find links to other confirmed cases, according to the Targum. 

“At this time, there does not appear to be sustained community transition,” Tan said, according to the Targum.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver (D-N.J.) said residents should continue to practice good hygiene and state at home if they feel sick, the Targum reported.

“If all remain calm and informed and educated with each passing day, and just practice common sense, the risk of an individual contracting coronavirus remains low,” Oliver said, according to the Targum.

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