According to authorities in New Jersey, two people have tested positive for coronavirus. The announcement said that on Thursday a second person in the state had tested positive for the new coronavirus, just one day after a 32-year-old man in Fort Lee also had the same diagnosis.
New Jersey´s Department of Health said it was expecting further analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm “presumptive positive results” from both tests.
Fort Lee Mayor Mark J. Sokolich said that the first positive case came from a health care worker who works and lives in New York City but also has an apartment in Fort Lee.
New Jersey officials said the man had “limited close contact” with other New Jersey citizens, but he may have had contact with people in New York City.
According to New Jersey’s health commissioner, Judith Persichilli, the man from Fort Lee showed symptoms on March 1. He was attended at Hackensack University Medical Center where he was placed in isolation. His condition has been stable.
It is not yet clear how the patient might have contracted the virus. He did not travel to any of the countries where the virus is spreading, nor had he any connection to the COVID-19-positive patients in New York.
The second case was confirmed by Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Officials said they did not yet know whether the second case was linked to the first. The second patient is a woman in her 30s who lived in Bergen County and was showing mild symptoms.
The woman was tested at Englewood Health in Bergen County. A hospital spokeswoman said the woman had been released and was currently self-quarantined.
New Jersey officials had been preparing for weeks to respond to the coronavirus.
Oliver announced immediate restrictions on all state-related business travel. All international travel is suspended for state employees until further notice. All domestic out-out-of-state travel on business must be approved by the Governor’s Office, including short trips to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and beyond.
Schools advised to plan closures
Likewise, the state advised all public schools to plan for building closures during a potential coronavirus outbreak and announced the state will count “home instruction” days toward the required 180-day school year if districts are ordered to close by state or local health officials.
The state informed superintendents that the management of the educational process through online learning should be considered so that students’ needs can be met from home.
The state informed superintendents that consideration should be given to managing the educational process through online learning so that students’ needs can be met from home.
The educational strategy to address the virus requires districts to develop a plan to provide equitable instruction that includes special education services. These plans must be reported to the county superintendent.
The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) has expressed concern that some students are unable to access the internet and that this may become an obstacle to learning from their homes.
Steve Baker, spokesman for the NJEA said that they “urge districts and the New Jersey Department of Education to do everything in their power to ensure that no students are denied their right to public education because they are unable to access the internet.”