NEWARK, NJ — An unidentified woman who tested positive for the coronavirus at East Orange General Hospital is missing, prompting Newark officials to initiate a campaign to find the individual, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced today.
The mayor alerted the public during a Facebook live stream that the woman who tested positive provided a false name and a Newark address. City health officials responded to the address but quickly learned no such person resided there.
“We’re not sure if that’s a Newark resident, so we don’t have any information about that individual until we complete our investigation, but we are diligently pursuing that,” said Mark Wade, Director of Health and Community Wellness.
The city is now preparing to submit an application to obtain a court order that would force East Orange General Hospital to provide video footage of the patient as well as all other information, Baraka said. Newark Police Department, the Department of Health and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office are working in cooperation to glean the information they need.
“If you are that person, and you went to East Orange General Hospital because you were sick and you got tested, the coronavirus test came back positive,” Baraka said. “Because you gave a false name, because you gave a false address, you put yourself and many, many people at risk not just in Newark, but in all of the surrounding cities as well.”
On Sunday, Baraka and Director of Health and Community Wellness Mark Wade minced words over a mysterious “second patient” as they confirmed Newark’s first positive case of coronavirus, saying they had no information on the person at the time.