Editor's Note: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Several probable positive tests for COVID-19 prompted Mayor Doug Tomson on Friday to issue a Health Advisory to township residents.
The initial index case was at DC Gymnastics, located at 3 Jill Court, Building 15, according to Tomson.
The facility offers a myriad of recreational and instructional programs for children, from pre-K through 17 years old, including preschool classes, kindergarten classes, girls and boys recreation classes, tumbling classes, JOGA and USAG competivie teams, birthday parties and Friday night open gym.
Like all similar facilities statewide, DC Gym had been subjected to closure until recently because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The gym is mow closed, according to Township Clerk Pam Borek.
Tomson said the affected individuals are either asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms.
The individuals who have tested positive have also been in contact with people involved in other community activities, the mayor said.
The mayor declined to provide the number of people that have tested positive stemming from the initial index test, but did say 12 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the township Friday as part of the daily updates provided by the health department, which reports results provided by test labs as per standard protocols since the pandemic took hold in March.
"That's our biggest overnight jump in a very, very long time," Tomson said.
The mayor also emphasized that no COVID-19-related deaths have occurred in the township "in a significant amount of time "
Since the pandemic took hold earlier this year, 75 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in Hillsborough, several of whom were residents of long-term care facilities in the township.
"This is clearly different than what we were experiencing in March," Tomson said.
“Our health team is taking all the necessary precautions to protect our community,” Tomson added.
Hillsborough Township Health Officer Siobhan Spano and her team are contacting individuals, including students at the gym and thei to conduct contact tracing.
"If you receive a call from Hillsborough Township Health Department regarding your activities, please return their call promptly, Tomson said.
Your cooperation is extremely important. If you have tested positive or if you receive a call from someone you know who has tested positive, please contact the Hillsborough Township Health Department immediately at 908-369-5652, Monday through Friday 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., or email during non-business hours to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It is imperative that you provide accurate and complete information to our contact tracers so that we can protect all of our residents,” Spano said.
"It is so important to provide accurate information," Borek said. "If you were playing Scrabble with ten people and you tested positive, we need to know who those ten people are," Borek added.
If you test positive, you can be contagious even if you do not have any symptoms. Just as a reminder, all positive tests need to be reported to the Health Department.
"If you feel you've been exposed, you should absolutely be tested," Tomson said. Several chain store pharmacies, including CVS, Walgreen's and Rite Aid offer low- or no-cost testing at some locations, according to Tomson.
The New Jersey COVID-19 information center online offers a list of testing locations: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing