Princeton has first presumptive positive coronavirus case (updated 4:15 p.m.)

Princeton Health Officer Jeff Grosser confirmed Friday afternoon that the municipality has its first positive COVID-19 case. The resident is a staff member at Princeton University.

The resident who tested positive is a 49-year-old woman who attended the private party at a home in Princeton on Feb. 29 with two people
from the Boston area who subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.

The Princeton resident began experiencing a mild illness on March 3. She reported attending two events after her symptoms began. The first event took place in Staten Island on March 7 at a dance festival. The second event was a meeting at the Princeton Medical Center on March 9. She has been isolating at home starting the evening of March 9.

“We have contacted the event coordinators for both locations to further identify any possible exposure,” Grosser said. “The health department was notified of presumptive positive results for this individual from the New Jersey Department of Health’s Public Environmental Health Laboratory today, March 13, and is awaiting confirmatory results from the CDC.”

Test results are still pending for four Princeton residents who attended the party, and had symptoms. On Thursday, officials said seven Princeton residents have been tested.

The Princeton Health Department was notified of the Feb. 29 party and potential exposure to the coronavirus the evening of March 9. Officials said all of the people attending that party have been instructed to stay
home as if they tested positive. “With a presumed positive result, the health department is now empowered to impose stricter limits to the close contacts of this individual,” Grosser said in a release about the case.

On Friday afternoon, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichillisaid there are 21 new positive cases in the state, bringing the total number of cases to 50. Eighty people are under investigation at New Jersey labs. The state is not aware of the numbers at the commercial labs. Two commercial labs and two hospital labs are online.

Officials are urging people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and the elderly to practice social distancing by avoiding non-essential travel, public events, community gatherings, and indoor venues.