A teacher at Princeton’s Riverside Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19, Princeton Health Officer Jeffrey Grosser announced March 19.
The teacher, who does not live in Princeton, is currently hospitalized but is beginning to feel better, Princeton Public Schools officials said.
The Princeton Health Department is in the process of identifying and contacting all of the people who may have come into contact with the teacher, Grosser said.
Once they are identified and contacted, they will be quarantined for 14 days – the maximum incubation period – from the date of their last known exposure to the infected person. They will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms, Grosser said.
“We should presume that the virus is occurring in our community. All people in Princeton should monitor their own health, especially those at highest risk,” Grosser said. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Meanwhile, Grosser recommended that children who had direct contact with the teacher should be quarantined for 14 days and monitored for signs of COVID-19. The child should be separated as much as possible from other family members, especially if he or she develops symptoms.
If the child did not have prolonged contact with the teacher – defined as at least 10 minutes in direct proximity but no direct contact – then the child does not need to be quarantined, Grosser said.
“Nonetheless, all families have been urged to minimize social contacts across families, such as play dates and parties. This would clearly apply to any child who attends the Riverside Elementary School, or any school for that matter,” he said.
Grosser said that as more cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in New Jersey, officials are encouraging people to practice social distancing – standing at least six feet away from another person in all public places.
Also, people are encouraged to avoid non-essential travel, public events, community gatherings and indoor venues. In-person meetings and gatherings should be limited.