First New Jersey Resident with Covid-19 Dies

The state suffered the first coronavirus-related death, Gov. Phil Murphy announced March 10.

“Our prayers are with the family during this difficult time. We remain vigilant to doing all we can — across all levels of government — to protect the people of New Jersey,” a statement released by the governor’s office said.

The totals as of March 10 stood at presumptive positive tests at 15, negative tests at 44, tests in process at 20 and persons under investigation at 31. There are now coronavirus cases in seven of New Jersey’s 21 counties. The four new positive tests include the man who died. The other three new coronavirus cases include one in Bergen County and two in Burlington County. 

Bergen County Man

The death was of a 69-year-old man from Little Falls. The man had pre-existing health conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, gastro-intestinal bleeding and emphysema, state officials said at a briefing. He came down with a fever and cough that were treated with antibiotics and tamiflu. When his condition didn’t improve, he was admitted to Hackensack University Medical Center on March 6.

A horse trainer in New Jersey and New York, the man didn’t have a history of international travel, but did regularly go back and forth to New York, according to state officials.

As a result of the man’s death, Bergen County Executive James Tedesco declared a countywide state of emergency. All county-run schools will close for students until at least the end of next week, with teachers expected to attend on March 11 and March 12 to make plans for at-home instruction. Bergen Community College, closed to students this week for spring break, will remain closed until the end of next week.

Testing Fees Waived

In an attempt to contain the spread of the virus, the state will waive fees for testing and testing-related services for the coronavirus for about two million New Jerseyans. The waiver from fees includes testing done at an emergency room, urgent care or a doctor’s office, Murphy said.

Those who fees will be waived include state workers and teachers, people on the state’s health exchange, children in the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program and uninsured people who are eligible for charity care.

Additionally, the governor postponed the Inaugural States for Gun Safety Summit scheduled for March 13 in Newark. The “States for Gun Safety” coalition, formed in 2018, advances a multi-pronged, regional approach to combat gun violence. Member states include Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. 

North Jersey Patients

Of the 15 who have tested positive, nine are based in North Jersey. Information about the patients who tested positive before March 10 include: 

  • An 18-year-old man from Clifton, who is not hospitalized, was exposed to coronavirus after having close contact on March 2 with a person in New York. The resident showed an onset of symptoms March 6.
  • A 30-year-old man from Teaneck hospitalized at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck began showing symptoms March 3. How the person got exposed to coronavirus is not known.
  • A 70-year-old Teaneck healthcare worker in stable condition in the ICU of St. Joseph’s Medical Center. The man was admitted March 6 and an onset of symptoms Feb. 28.
  • A 32-year-old man from West New York is in stable condition at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack. His symptoms began Feb. 28 but a full interview has yet to be completed. 
  • A 32-year-old man who lives in an apartment in Fort Lee and works in New York City, The health care worker traveled to Fort Lee alone on March 1 and had no contact with any other people while in town. The man is being treated at Hackensack University Medical Center.
  • An Englewood woman in her 30s who sought treatment at Englewood Health Hospital in Bergen County. She was released from the hospital March 5 and is self-quarantined at her home. She had a gathering of 15 people on Feb 29 her home; all of those people were told to self-quarantine.
  • A 55-year-old Englewood man is in stable condition at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. Admitted March 4, the man attended services at Temple Young Israel in New Rochelle, NY, which a number of coronavirus cases are tied to, on Feb. 23. Additionally, he attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February.

The other know cases are of 61-year-old man from Cherry Hill admitted to Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital on March 3; a 48-year-old Berkeley Heights resident, exposed to coronavirus after having contact with friends who traveled from Milan, Italy, who showed an onset of symptoms March 1 and was hospitalized at Overlook Medical Center in Summit; a 27-year-old Little Silver man who attended the Biogen conference in Boston from Feb. 24-28 showed an onset of symptoms on Feb. 29; and an 83-year-old Hazlet woman fell ill on March 3 and was hospitalized at Hackensack Meridian’s Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel. 

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