Mercer County coronavirus cases expected to increase as area testing center opens

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The number of Mercer County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 has continued to climb and reached 249 cases – including 26 Princeton residents – as of March 30, Mercer County officials announced.

The number has swelled from 40 Mercer County residents who had contracted the disease on March 22 and is now up to 249 positive cases on March 30. No one has died in the county, as of press time.

Contact tracing, including information gathering, is under way on the new cases and continuing on the remaining ones where needed, Mercer County officials said. New cases are expected to be reported as more testing sites come online.

One of those testing sites is a new drive-through testing site that opened March 31 in a parking lot at the Quaker Bridge Mall in Lawrence Township. The testing site is the result of a collaborative effort between Mercer County and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Capital Health Systems, St. Francis Medical Center and the Trenton Health Team.

The new testing site is restricted to Mercer County residents who have shown COVID-19 symptoms and who have been referred for testing by their physician. Tests are being conducted on an appointment basis.

Although Mercer County does not release the tally of persons who tested positive on a town-by-town basis, Princeton Health Department officials have reported that 26 Princeton residents had been infected as of March 30.

In addition, two Princeton police officers have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in isolation. They entered self-isolation as soon as they began to experience symptoms. Test results for a third police officer are pending.

Of the 26 positive cases in Princeton, 15 were men and 11 were women. Eight of the residents have completed the 14-day quarantine period, leaving 18 residents still in isolation, according to the Princeton Health Department.

Most of the Princeton residents who tested positive were between 18 and 65 years old. Five were older than 65 years old, and two were younger than 17 years old, Princeton Health Department officials said.

Princeton University reported that as of March 27, 71 students had been tested for COVID-19. A dozen students were tested on campus and the remainder were tested elsewhere.

Five of the 12 students tested negative and returned home. Five more students are waiting for test results and remain in isolation.

Two of the 12 students tested positive. One student met the criteria for being released from isolation and is off-campus. The other student remains in quarantine and is receiving treatment.

Also, 25 Princeton University employees had been tested for COVID-19 as of March 27. Twelve of the 25 tested positive and were at home in isolation and were receiving treatment.

Ten employees tested negative, and test results are pending for three more employees.