Coronavirus News: New Jersey staying vigilant in preparation for potential COVID-19 cases

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey is coming up with a strategy to fight the coronavirus.

Like so many other private and public entities, trips are being cancelled and school trips set for spring break are suddenly not happening.

Officials says now is the time to be prepared and vigilant. The risk remains low in New Jersey, with no confirmed cases of COVID-19 thus far, but the case in Westchester County reminds everyone to be ready.

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"We are all vulnerable people, but with good planning we can lessen the risk," Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco said.

The state hotline for the novel coronavirus has received over 1,000 calls. Doctors are standing by at the state's biggest hospital to talk over the phone to concerned patients.

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"We believe that putting our experts at the fingertips of the community helps relieve people's fears and there will be more willing to seek early evaluation and treatment," said Deborah Visconi, CEO of Bergen New Bridge Hospital.

Urgent care facilities are also telling patients to go to hospital emergency rooms, especially if they have traveled to at-risk countries, and plus, most of these locations can't test for the new coronavirus.
"No urgent care and no family practice in the United States today has the testing ability to test for the new coronavirus," Prompt MD Olevia Metry said.

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Emergency procedures are now in place to protect first responders, law enforcement and even inmates and staff. Officials say you can never be too cautious when it come COVID-19.

"We will be performing more tests," NJ Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. "As a result, we may in fact see a positive reaction."

RELATED INFORMATION:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

John Hopkins' coronavirus tracking dashboard

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