SOMERVILLE, NJ -- The Somerset County Department of Health announced Tuesday that a total of nine coronavirus (COVID-19) cases have been confirmed in Somerset County.

The New Jersey Department of Health is reporting 267 COVID-19 cases in the state.

“We anticipate that there will be more cases of COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks, and we are asking residents to do their part to help us slow the spread of the virus,” said Freeholder Director Shanel Robinson. “Without a specific vaccine or treatment for this disease, social distancing – staying at least 6 feet away from other people - is the most effective tool we have.

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"This is a difficult time for everyone, especially with the curfews that are being established in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We know it’s a struggle emotionally, physically and financially. Please know that we are doing everything we can to help everyone get through this,” continued Freeholder Director Robinson.

“Social distancing is especially important to help protect senior citizens and those with severe chronic medical conditions, such as heart, lung or kidney disease, who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19,” said Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, public health & safety liaison. “But it may also cause people to feeling lonely and afraid. Let’s do our best to be good neighbors and call each other to touch base and provide support.”

Anyone with a respiratory illness wondering about whether they should be tested for COVID-19 is advised to contact their physician. If your doctor determines that you should be tested, he/she will write a prescription for you. Do not call 911, unless there is an emergency, or the county Department of Health to request testing.

Individuals can lower their risk of contracting coronavirus disease by taking the same measures that are recommended to prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory illness:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick.

COVID-19 health education resources are available on the county Department of Health’s website at www.co.somerset.nj.us/health.  To stay up to date with the number of coronavirus cases, residents can find a chart on the website. Or, residents can call 908-231-7111 to listen to daily recorded messages.

For more information, contact the Somerset County Department of Health at coronavirus@co.somerset.nj.us, or the New Jersey Poison Control Center’s 24/7 public hotline at 1-800-222-1222.