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NJ announces six new coronavirus cases, RWJUH holds two patients

Robert Cavanaugh, spokesperson for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) at RWJ Barnabas Health, said RWJUH is currently treating two patients for coronavirus.  – Photo by The Daily Targum

On Thursday, New Jersey state officials announced six new presumptive positive test results for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). There is still one death in New Jersey as a result of COVID-19.

Of these six cases are a 16-year-old girl from Englewood, a 66-year-old woman from Montclair, a 51-year-old man from Butler Borough, a 23-year-old from Bridgewater, a 53-year-old man from Manalapan and a woman from Teaneck, whose age is unknown, said Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Judith Persichilli.

She also said based on the growing number of positive cases in the state, they are now assigning risk categories to affected counties. Eleven of the 21 New Jersey counties currently have COVID-19 cases.

Persichilli said Bergen County is considered “moderate risk,” with a total of 13 cases. Monmouth County is considered “above minimal,” while all other affected counties are considered “none to minimal.”

In addition to these 29 presumptive positive tests, 37 other individuals are under investigation and will be tested at the state lab, Persichilli said.

“We have to accept that as the response to the virus continues, there will be disruption in our daily lives for the short term,” she said. “Some schools will close, events will be canceled, some individuals will need self-quarantine and there will be other steps taken to protect the residents of New Jersey.”

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) has two patients that have tested presumptive positive for the virus, said Robert Cavanaugh, spokesperson for RWJUH at RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH).

“RWJBarnabas Health is committed to ensure the health and safety of all patients, visitors, employees and clinicians,” he said. “(RWJUH) has received confirmation from the NJDOH that two patients have tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.”

Cavanaugh said they are currently following the recommended procedures and guidelines of both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the NJDOH. He said both patients are currently doing well and are pending discharge.

“We continue to be on high alert across the entire healthcare system and are fully prepared to treat COVID-19 patients as well as all other medical and clinical issues as usual,” Cavanaugh said.

He also said RWJBH has temporarily updated the visitation policies for all of their healthcare facilities.

Every visitor will now be screened for recent international travel history, recent domestic travel to areas with widespread COVID-19 infection, contact with individuals with known COVID-19 and cold or flu-like symptoms, according to the RWJBH website. Based on the results of these screenings, visitors may be denied access to the buildings.

Visitors under the age of 16 will also not be permitted, according to the website. Visitors for all adult medical and behavioral outpatient units, all labor and delivery units and all emergency departments will be limited to one person. In pediatric units, nurseries and neonatal intensive care units, visitation is limited to two people.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) also announced recommendations on Thursday to cancel public gatherings with more than 250 individuals. This includes concerts, sporting events and parades.

“These measures are being taken as part of our coordinated response to the continued outbreak and to aggressively mitigate the spread of the virus,” Murphy said in his statement.  “Additionally, for all events, we recommend that everyone practice common sense hygiene, like washing hands routinely, staying home if you do not feel well and keeping a 6-foot distance from others.”

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