Coronavirus New Jersey News: Red Bank Regional High School switches to off-campus learning

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NEW JERSEY (WABC) — Red Bank Regional High School is switching to an off-campus learning plan due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Little Silver, New Jersey high school made the move after a 27-year-old man tested positive for the virus and has a sibling who attends the school.

New Jersey reported eight new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, raising the state total to 23.

In a news conference, Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said four of the new cases are in Bergen County; two are in Middlesex County; two are in Monmouth County.

Three of the patients are female, while five are male. They range in age from 17 to 66 years old.

Judith Persichilli said officials are still investigating the contacts of those cases. However, she said two of the patients did not appear to have exposure to either a confirmed case, or travelled to an area that has community spread of the novel coronavirus.

Persichilli went on to define community spread as “person-to-person transmission without exposure to a confirmed case, or a nexus to an area where community spread is identified.”

The health commissioner suggested that COVID-19 may be spreading among the community in New Jersey.

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  • MARCH 12, 2020
    Red Bank Regional High School becomes the first public school in the tri-state area to switch to an off-campus learning plan amid the coronavirus scare. A student at the school is related to a 27-year-old man who is confirmed to have COVID-19.

    MARCH 11, 2020

    4:30 p.m.
    Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade still a go despite virus concerns

    Many organizations have canceled large gatherings because of concern over the spread of the novel coronavirus, but in Newark, officials say their St. Patrick’s Day Parade will go on as planned.

    The city signed off on moving forward, encouraging people to come while paying attention though to all the hygiene advice health departments are recommending.

    Dozens of organizations have signed up for the parade, and organizers say that so far, no one has canceled.

    3:30 p.m.
    Ivy League cancels all spring sports

    The Ivy League announced on Wednesday that it is canceling all spring athletics practice and competition through the remainder of the academic year amid further developments in the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus.

    The decision hits the lacrosse programs particularly hard, with four schools ranked in the Top 20 and three in the Top 5 (No. 2 Cornell, No. 3 Princeton, No. 5 Yale, No. 16 Penn).

    10:30 a.m.
    Fort Lee closes senior center as a precaution

    The Richard and Catherine Nest Adult Activity Center (commonly known as the “Fort Lee Senior Citizen Center”, located at 319 Main Street) will be temporarily closed for a period of 14 days, officials said.

    This measure is strictly preemptive and is not in response to any presumptive or additional confirmed cases of individuals in the Borough of Fort Lee contracting COVID-19.

    10:20 a.m.
    3 coronavirus cases in Teaneck, New Jersey

    Officials in Teaneck, New Jersey say they have 3 presumptive positve cases. All three are men ages 70, 44 and 30. All of them are in the hospital.

    MARCH 10, 2020

    4 p.m.
    Rutgers University cancels classes

    Rutgers University announced an early start to spring breakfor students. All classes are canceled starting March 12 through the end of spring break on March 22.

    Starting Monday, March 23 through at least Friday, April 3, all course instruction will be delivered remotely and all face-to-face instruction is suspended.

    1 p.m.
    First death in state reported

    New Jersey officials announced the state’s first death stemming from the coronaviruson Tuesday and said the number of cases climbed from 11 to 15.

    Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the person who died was a 69-year-old hospitalized in Bergen County who had underlying medical conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, she said.

    He had no travel outside of the United States but had had gone back and forth to New York state, where there are more than 150 cases. It is not yet known where exactly he traveled in New York.

    12:00 p.m.
    Murphy waives fees for COVID-19 testing for some residents

    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday the state will waive fees for COVID-19 testing for more than 2 million residents on certain health plans.

    The waivers apply to residents with health insurance through their jobs with the state and public schools, as well as to those using the state’s social safety net programs.

    Murphy also urged the state’s other health carriers covering people who get insurance their their jobs to follow suit. The state’s biggest insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, has already said it would waive costs for medically necessary coronavirus tests.

    Just over half of the state’s residents have insurance through their employers, according to Jerrel Harvey, a spokesman for the governor.

    Murphy’s administration is set to give an update on the number of cases in the state later on Tuesday. Officials have reported there are 11 positive cases in New Jersey so far.

    A state of emergency was declared in New Jersey on Monday to help contain the spread of coronavirus.

    State of Emergency declared

    Gov. Phil Murphy announced the public health emergency on Monday evening to help strengthen the state’s preparedness.

    Health officials in New Jersey had previously announced five more positive cases of coronavirus in the state on Monday, bringing the total to 11.

    Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver stressed that the overall risk to the average New Jersey resident remains low.

    She said New Jersey will continue to work with neighboring states and partner with the federal government throughout the response to the outbreak.

    Oliver added that the best way residents can protect themselves from coronavirus is by practicing safe respiratory hygiene and to stay home.

    MARCH 9, 2020

    8 p.m.
    More NJ schools close

    Trenton Public Schools is the latest school system to announce it will close this week.

    School will be closed to students on Thursday and it will be closed to both students and staff on Friday.

    6 p.m.
    State of Emergency declared in New Jersey

    Governor Murphy’s emergency declaration also empowers all state agencies, specifically the Departments of Banking and Insurance, Health, Human Services, and the Civil Service Commission to take all appropriate steps to address the public health hazard of COVID-19.

    “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,” said Murphy. “My Administration will continue to work closely with our federal partners to ensure that local health agencies on the front lines of the state’s response are equipped with the resources needed to further prepare our health care system for a broader spread of COVID-19.”

    Additionally, the declaration triggers other executive powers and safeguards, such as prohibiting excessive price increases pursuant to New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and the ability to waive certain procurement procedures to expedite the delivery of goods and services necessary for coronavirus preparedness and response efforts.

    2:00 p.m.
    New coronavirus cases in New Jersey

    1 . An 18-year-old from Clifton City, Passaic County. Onset of symptoms: March 6. Do not have gender, not hospitalized, possible individual was exposed to COVID-19 on March 2. Close contact with a known positive case in New York. New Jersey contacts are pending.

    2. 48-year-old Berkeley Heights Township, Union County individual. Onset March 1. Individual is inpatient at Overlook Medical Center. Exposure was symptomatic friends who traveled from Milan. Friends tested negative for COVID-19 . The situation remains under investigation.

    3. 27-year-old individual from Little Silver Borough, Monmouth County. Onset: February 29. Patient is not hospitalized. Exposure to COVID-19 came from Biogen conference that the person attended in Boston. Attended between Feb. 24 and Feb. 28. Reported that 170 attendees from that conference have tested presumptive positive. New Jersey contacts are pending.

    4. 83-year-old from Hazlet Township, Monmouth County. Onset: March 3. Inpatient at Bayshore Medical Center. Exposure to COVID-19 unknown. New Jersey contacts are pending.

    5. 30-year-old individual from Teaneck Township, Bergen County. Onset: March 3. Hospitalized at Holy Name Medical Center. Exposure to COVID-19 unknown.

    10:00 A.M.
    Princeton U. restricts gatherings, offers remote classes

    Princeton University said Monday it is restricting large gatherings and urging students to remain home after spring break and take classes online in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus.

    President Christopher Eisgruber wrote in a letter to the university community that the measures are necessary even though the school currently has no confirmed cases.

    7:00 A.M.
    Man hospitalized in NJ for COVID-19 speaks out about the virus

    A New Jersey man’s cousin is trying to get him transferred to Mount Sinai in New York for coronavirus treatment.

    James Cai believes he contracted COVID-19 while attending a medical meeting at the Westin Hotel in Times Square.

    He told ABC News that he was feeling sick a few days later and went to urgent care, but they didn’t see anything and suggested a pulmonary embolism. He went to the emergency room and they did a chest CT and they found a small lesion on his lung. That led the hospital to request a presumptive coronavirus test, and it came up positive.

    “The CDC never confirmed it, not even now,” he said. Cai added that doctors are surprised by his condition.

    He’s currently being treated at Hackensack Hospital in New Jersey.

    MARCH 8, 2020

    3:00 p.m.
    NJ officials announce 2 more coronavirus cases; total now 6

    New Jersey officials have announced two more presumptive positive tests for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of patients in the state to six.

    Officials said Sunday that one male 70-year-old health care worker from Teaneck is in stable condition in a hospital intensive care unit. A 32-year-old man from West New York was also hospitalized but a condition report wasn’t available.

    Officials haven’t been able to talk to either to find out their contacts and exposure. Samples from both have been sent to the federal Centers for

    Health authorities said they are tracking 27 people in the state, one-third of them in Bergen County.

    State Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli said “as you can see, from north to south, the coronavirus seems to be spreading.” But Gov. Sheila Oliver stressed that the overall risk to the average New Jersey resident remains low.

    MARCH 6, 2020

    Facility probed where New Jersey COVID-19 patients visited

    Two northern New Jersey residents who have tested positive for the new coronavirus went to the same health care facility before they were eventually hospitalized this week.

    Officials in Bergen County say an investigation has begun to determine if workers or other patients at the facility were exposed.

    One patient, a man in his early 30s, is hospitalized in Hackensack. The second, a woman from Englewood, was released from a hospital Thursday and is in isolation at home.

    Two more cases were announced Friday. One is at Englewood Hospital in Bergen County and the other at Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital in Camden County.

    Officials said Sunday that one male 70-year-old health care worker from Teaneck is in stable condition in a hospital intensive care unit. A 32-year-old man from West New York was also hospitalized but a condition report wasn’t available.

    Officials haven’t been able to talk to either to find out their contacts and exposure.

    Health authorities said they are tracking 27 people in the state, one-third of them in Bergen County.

    State Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli said “as you can see, from north to south, the coronavirus seems to be spreading.” But Gov. Sheila Oliver stressed that the overall risk to the average New Jersey resident remains low.

    Officials did make more details available about the first COVID-19 case.

    That patient is a 32-year-old man who is currently hospitalized in Bergen County and is stable, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said.

    The individual, who works in New York City, developed symptoms on March 1 and sought medical care late on March 2 at an urgent care clinic in Bergen County.

    He was then sent to Hackensack University Medical Center and was hospitalized on March 3. He is said to be resting comfortably and doing well.

    Watch: Interview with NJ coronavirus patient

    Persichilli said the hospital placed the patient in an airborne isolation room, and the facility has continued infection control measures.

    From the time he became symptomatic, the patient had limited close contact with other New Jersey residents outside of the health care setting, Persichilli said.

    A New Jersey couple is also stuck on a cruise ship off the coast of Californiadue to the coronavirus.

    Karen and Harry Dever are among the thousands of people currently confined to the Grand Princess that’s been circling the waters off the California Coast since Thursday.

    The ship has been forbidden to dock in San Francisco amid evidence it was a breeding ground for a cluster of more than 10 cases and one death during its previous voyage.

    ABC News sources confirm over 1,000 passengers aboard the ship are above the age of 70.

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