SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - As of Tuesday, the New Jersey Department of Health has reported 14 "presumptive positive" cases of the new coronavirus from the New Jersey State Laboratory, and one positive test from a commercial laboratory in the state, according to a release from Somerset County.

According to the release, presumptive cases are those that tested positive at a state or local laboratory, and are waiting confirmation from the Center for Disease Control.

At this point, according to the release, there are no cases in Somerset County.

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"Although there are currently no reports of coronavirus in Somerset County, we know that many residents are anxious about the possibility," freeholder director Shanel Robinson said in the release. "I assure you that the county department of health is on high alert to promptly identify possible cases of the new coronavirus in Somerset County."

"To make sure we are communicating accurate and timely information, on March 9, I began a daily conference call with our mayors," she added. "Our emergency management council met with local health officers and other emergency response personnel to coordinate a comprehensive plan that will maintain the safety of both residents and first responders."

The health department, Robinson said, continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New Jersey Department of Health and local hospitals and healthcare partners to identify cases and prevent transmission, freeholder Brian Gallagher, public health and safety liaison, said in the release.

Anyone looking for information can contact the Somerset County Department of Health at coronavirus@co.somerset.nj.us.

Officials are recommending a number of community actions to keep people healthy and reduce exposure to COVID-19. These include increasing the distance between people, promoting common-sense health habits and encouraging proper cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces.

Other precautions include:

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are ill.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are touched frequently.
  • Staying home when you are sick.