(Gloucester Township, NJ) –The Camden County Department of Health is announcing the first presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) identified in Camden County. The individual is a male, Camden County resident, who lives in Cherry Hill Township. The patient is in his 60s and is currently hospitalized in stable condition.
“While we know that any case of coronavirus presents a cause for concern for our residents, we want to emphasize that this case only reemphasizes the need to follow personal hygiene guidelines vigilantly, this should not be a cause for panic and the risk to the general public remains low,” said Health Officer Paschal Nwako. “Our department has been planning and preparing for several weeks for the possibility of a case of coronavirus in Camden County, and residents can rest assured that we are prepared to act swiftly and protect the health of our community.”
The Department of Health is currently coordinating with the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), the Governor’s Office, and other state, local, and federal partners to ensure a comprehensive and appropriate response to the ongoing public health threat presented by coronavirus. The presumptive positive result came from a sample tested by the New Jersey Department of Health at the New Jersey Public Health Environmental Laboratories (PHEL) and is now being submitted to the CDC for confirmatory testing.
The county Health Department is currently working with the NJDOH to trace close contacts of this individual and to take additional public health actions as appropriate. At this time, we know that the patient did not attend any large gatherings or use mass transit, limiting his exposure risk.
“Given recent developments in surrounding areas, this does not come as a surprise to our personnel, and we have already put plans in place so that our response can begin immediately,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services. “At this time, the most important thing for the public to recognize is that the general health risk to the public remains low. The best way to protect yourself is not to buy or wear facemasks, but to practice appropriate social distancing, avoiding contact with those who appear visibly ill, and to adhere to recommended personal hygiene practices. If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 please alert your primary care physician by phone before going to the office.”
The best way to prevent the spread and contraction of coronavirus is practicing good personal hygiene:
- Wash your hands thoroughly, and often, with soap and water for 20 seconds;
- Stay home when you’re sick;
- Avoid contact with others who are sick;
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue; and
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
Residents should call 9-1-1 during emergencies only, for those with questions about symptoms, risk of exposure, or other information related to the coronavirus, the NJDOH has partnered with the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System to open and operate a dedicated coronavirus call center at 1-800-222-1222. More information is also available on the state’s coronavirus webpage.
Information regarding Camden County’s preparations, response, and general information provided to the public is available by visiting camdencounty.com. Residents should frequently check the county webpage and social media for up-to-date information.