Somerset County Continues to be on High Alert

Post Date:03/10/2020 2:23 PM

As of Tuesday, March 10, the New Jersey Department of Health is reporting 14 “presumptive positive” cases of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) from the New Jersey State Laboratory and one positive test from a commercial laboratory in New Jersey. Presumptive cases are persons that tested positive at a state or local laboratory for the COVID-19 virus and are waiting for confirmatory testing by the CDC.  So far, no cases have been reported in Somerset County.

“Although there are currently no reports of the coronavirus in Somerset County, we know that many residents are anxious about the possibility,” said Freeholder Director Shanel Y. Robinson. “I assure you that the county Department of Health is on high alert to promptly identify possible cases of the new coronavirus in Somerset County.

To make sure we are communicating accurate and timely information, on March 9th, I began a daily conference call with our Mayors. Our Emergency Management Council met with local health officers and other emergency response personnel to coordinate a comprehensive plan that will maintain the safety of both residents and first responders.”

“Our Health Department continues to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New Jersey Department of Health and local hospitals and healthcare partners to identify cases and prevent possible transmission of the virus, and to provide residents with regular updates and guidance,” said Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, public health & safety liaison. 

Anyone from the public needing information can contact the Somerset County Department of Health at coronavirus@co.somerset.nj.us.  Additionally, the New Jersey Department of Health has set up a 24/7 public hotline with the New Jersey Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

PREVENTATIVE INTERVENTIONS

Because an outbreak of COVID-19 could last a long time, public health officials may recommend community actions to keep people healthy, reduce exposure to the virus and slow the spread of the disease.

The actions can include maintaining or increasing the distance between people, promoting common-sense health habits and encouraging the proper cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces. These interventions are among the best ways to control a virus when vaccines are not available. 

Additional daily health precautions that can prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other diseases:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • When soap and water are not available, the public should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Do not reuse tissues after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

To stay informed, follow trusted sources of information such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov, the World Health Organization at www.who.int, the New Jersey Department of Health at www.nj.gov/health and the Somerset County Department of Health at www.co.somerset.nj.us/health.

As the lead agency for coordinating public health disease response, the SCDOH communicates with hospitals, laboratories, emergency responders, medical providers, schools, businesses and other community organizations to share information and improve response to public health emergencies.  Representatives of these organizations are encouraged to sign up for notifications, at: http://bit.ly/SCLINCS.

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Somerset County in collaboration with Raritan Valley Community College will be holding a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site on*:

  • Thursday, July 2nd from 10am to 12pm

Testing is by appointment only and proof of residency is required.  Anyone without an appointment will be turned away. Testing is free of charge and is only available for Somerset County residents, age five (5) and older. 

Appointments can be made online at https://somerset-hunterdon.adlabscovidtest.comResidents without computer access or wishing to schedule an appointment for children age 5-18 should call the Somerset County COVID-19 drive-thru testing information line at 908-203-6014. The information line is available Monday-Friday, from 9 AM to 1PM, expect on holidays.

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For the safety, health and security of staff and volunteers, patients must arrive by car. The testing site will not allow entry if residents don’t arrive in a vehicle, even if they have a valid driver’s license and an appointment.

The testing site location is Raritan Valley Community College, 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg.  When coming to the testing center, residents are asked to use the main entrance to the college campus, off of Route 28.

*Additional dates will be offered based on availability of resources. Check www.co.somerset.nj.us/covid19status for updates.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

                          Updated 6-29-20