Murphy, Persichilli outline New Jersey’s preparation for coronavirus cases

Taken from Politico

January 29, 2020

By Sam Sutton

Gov. Phil Murphy today outlined New Jersey’s strategy for preventing and managing the spread of a coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China, that’s killed more than 100 people and left thousands more sick.

“The steps we are taking here, which are being replicated across the country and in multiple cities around the globe, are meant to isolate cases to protect the public,” Murphy said at a press conference in Newark with Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli and other members of his administration.

Only five cases have been recorded in the U.S. thus far, none of which were in New Jersey. Two patients in New Jersey were reportedly tested for coronavirus in the last week. Both tests came back negative.

“Although this novel virus is a cause of concern, it’s important for New Jersey residents to know that the risk to the general public is quite low,” Persichilli said.

The state Department of Health has issued guidance to the state’s acute care hospitals on how to identify, isolate and treat patients who may be infected with the virus, Persichilli said. Testing for the Wuhan coronavirus is currently only available through the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but Persichilli said she expects the state lab may be able to run similar tests soon.

The health department has also launched a website with information about the virus, including travel updates and guidance sent to health care providers. The Murphy administration has also opened a 24-hour hotline (1-800-222-1222) for members of the public who have questions.

Passengers arriving from China at Newark Liberty International and JFK International airports are being screened for the illness. Other state agencies are also monitoring the outbreak and will respond as necessary, Murphy said.

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