BEDMINSTER, NJ -- The township was notified Thursday of the death of a resident who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.

Somerset County Department of Health confirmed that the resident was between 60 and 69 years old, but Bedminster had no other information regarding the person who passed away. 

“We are feeling this first loss to coronavirus very deeply, and on behalf of the township express our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the resident who died.” said Bedminster Mayor Lawrence F. Jacobs. “Bedminster has been and is working together with our county health department and our Emergency Management team to protect the health and safety of the people in our town during this crisis.

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"As of March 26, there are a total of seven reported cases of COVID-19 in Bedminster, and 190 reported cases in Somerset County," Jacobs said. "COVID-19 is spreading in the community, and additional cases will continue to be identified. COVID-19 is affecting all age groups and no one is immune to this virus. We urge everyone to stay home and to please practice social distancing.” 

Symptoms of the coronavirus appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. While it can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness in some individuals, others may experience severe complications and require hospitalization. Everyone, including young and healthy people, are advised to practice safe distancing -- stay home, and keep at least to arm's length (6 feet) away from others.

Public health officials continue to encourage residents to follow common-sense health habits and routinely clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces. These interventions are among the best ways to control a virus when vaccines are not available. The Somerset County Department of Health is strongly calling on residents to limit their risk of exposure by staying home and avoiding close contact with people outside their household. This is the primary way to limit exposure to COVID-19. Residents are also urged to follow the personal actions that will help stop the spread of the disease: 

• Just stay home 

• Practice social distancing: maintaining or increasing the distance between people (about two arm’s lengths) 

• Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time 

• Resist the urge to touch your eyes, nose and mouth 

• Avoid close contact with people who are ill 

• Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze 

• Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched. 

This is a rapidly changing situation, and information is being shared as it becomes available. It is important to stay up to date by following trusted sources of information such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov, the World Health Organization at www.who.int, the New Jersey Department of Health at www.nj.gov/health and the Somerset County Department of Health at www.co.somerset.nj.us/health.