CAMDEN, NJ — Tests to detect whether five individuals in Camden County had contracted COVID-19 have come back negative, a spokesman told TAPinto Camden. 

That figure comes a week after Camden County had its first presumed positive case of the novel coronavirus last Friday— a Cherry Hill man, 69, who is currently receiving treatment at Jefferson Hospital. 

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli announced Thursday afternoon that an additional six cases makes the state total 29. Gov. Phil Murphy, who announced the first death linked to the virus and declared a state of emergency earlier this week, will address the ongoing pandemic in a press conference Friday at 2 p.m.

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Camden has reported no cases and Camden County has yet to add to its tally.

Conversely, Virtua Health and Cooper Health Care officials confirmed that as of now no patients have tested positive at their respective hospitals. 

In-house, hospitals say they have implemented screening procedures for their employees and are keeping open lines of communication with the New Jersey Department of Health and the CDC.

“The big takeaway is that people who have the symptoms of COVID-19 and require medical care should call their primary care doctor first and foremost, rather than show up unannounced at a primary care office, urgent care clinic, or emergency room,” said Virtua Health spokesman, Daniel Moise. “Calling first allows the medical experts to understand the symptoms and circumstances and develop an appropriate course of action.”

Moise cautioned that anyone visiting medical facilities without advanced arrangements are at risk of exposing others.

Wendy Marano, a spokesperson for Cooper University Health Care, echoed sentiments about calling ahead.

Cooper has also  directed the public to their website for updates and background information surrounding the virus. 

“Cooper University Health Care is taking a number of steps to protect its patients, employees, and the community during the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19,” hospital officials said in a statement online. “Cooper has a dedicated Task Force of senior leaders, both clinical and non-clinical, to prepare to safely handle patients infected by the virus and ensure the continuity of operations.”

Health officials in the area continue to share the latest from the CDC, and recommend the following hygienic practices:

  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing

  • Washing your hands properly and often with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

  • Avoiding close contact with sick people

  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible

  • Staying home from work or school when you are sick

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