LIVINGSTON, NJ — The first two cases of laboratory-confirmed COVID19 (novel coronavirus) in Livingston residents have been discovered, according to the Livingston Health Department (LHD), which also confirmed that these “are separate and distinct cases with no interaction with one another.”
The LHD learned of these cases today on Wednesday afternoon and has begun the process of isolation and monitoring. According to the department, the monitoring process includes an interview of the affected individuals to identify locations and persons with whom the affected individuals had contact.
Once identified, those people and locations will be notified of the individual’s exposure and symptoms to allow the identification of close contacts; to increase awareness of those exposed for potential development of symptoms; and to encourage isolation of those who may be at risk from contact with these individuals.
"We all knew it was not if but when the first Livingston residents would test positive for COVID-19," said Mayor Rudy Fernandez. "As more people are tested, we expect more positive test results. Remember, these are our friends and neighbors, and we should all continue supporting each other during this time."
In an official statement from the township, officials indicated that the existence of these two cases is being made public “in the interest of full transparency while still being respectful of the privacy rights and laws involving personal medical information, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA).” As a result, more detailed information as to the two cases cannot be released to the public.
However, the township assured residents that this situation is being taken “with the utmost seriousness” and that the township is “committed to taking all steps to support the affected individuals and those with whom they were in contact; while protecting the safety and well-being of the broader community.
“This news really hits home about the devastating impact the virus can have on the well-being of our residents and community,” he said. “This is why the dramatic steps we have taken to close our parks and reduce contact visits at our offices are so important. These measures promote social distancing that can help slow the spread of the virus. We hope everyone is taking this seriously and doing their part to be careful and to stay well.”
In Livingston, programs are currently being launched through the township in partnership with other agencies, groups, organizations and residents in order to provide support and services to vulnerable residents—including transportation for medical appointments and food or medicine shopping. More information regarding these programs is forthcoming.
At this time, any residents who cannot drive, are homebound or are otherwise in need of support services are urged to contact Livingston Township at (973) 535-7961 ext. 231.