Monroe patient with coronavirus now under home quarantine; township declares local State of Emergency

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MONROE – Monroe Township was notified late March 13 by the Middlesex County Department of Health that the first township resident tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The patient reportedly presented with symptoms on March 12 and was seen at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick on March 13 where tests produced a positive result, according to information provided by Monroe Township on March 14.

The patient returned home and is under home quarantine, the statement said.

The resident is a family member of a student at the middle school and the high school, according to subsequent information released by the school district.

As a result, Police Chief Michael Biennas declared a local State of Emergency in Monroe beginning at 2 p.m. on March 14. This allows for the procurement of supplies and resources necessary to address this local health emergency, according to a statement provided by the police department.

There are no travel restrictions in place at this time, but social distancing is strongly encouraged, township officials said.

“It is important that we as a community remain calm while taking the virus very seriously,” Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro said in the statement. “Our highly trained EMS, police and fire personnel are prepared and committed to respond to this emergent health situation.”

The Monroe Township Library and Recreation Center are now closed. All programs and activities at the senior center, library and recreation/community center will remain suspended until further notice.

Municipal Court sessions are suspended until further notice beginning March 17. The Municipal Court service window will remain open while court sessions are suspended.

Comcast announced additional steps to help ensure people stay connected to the Internet as more schools suspend classes and companies encourage employees to work from home, according to the statement.

In an effort to encourage social distancing, residents are reminded of the many online services available at www.monroetwp.com.

At this time, the latest statistics related to COVID-19 from Gov. Phil Murphy’s office state that the number of presumptive positive cases in New Jersey has increased from 50 to 69. Middlesex County now has 10 positive cases, including the one in Monroe.

The Middlesex County Health Department is the lead in the investigation of the Monroe case and is responsible for additional notifications.

Updates will be provided as they are available and allowed under federal and state privacy laws. Names, addresses and personal identifying information of patients cannot be released or shared with the community.

If the general public has questions regarding coronavirus, contact the New Jersey Department of Health Hotline at 800-222-1222.

Monroe Township will use social media, emails, the municipal website, broadcast channels and the Nixle alert system to provide the latest information available. Community members are urged to sign up for Nixle notifications by visiting local.nixle.com/register or by texting 08831 to 888777.

For information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/