March 18, 2020
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–
As of 9:00 this morning, Hamilton Township was informed through the State’s confidential Communicable Disease Reporting and Surveillance System (CDRSS) that two residents have tested positive for COVID-19. A 48-year-old male and a 28-year-old female. Both of those cases are individuals who are self-isolating at home per doctor’s orders and are not in the hospital. Additionally, there are a number of individuals who have been tested for COVID-19 and the results are pending.
Our Health Department immediately contacted each individual case to begin the “COVID-19 Confirmed Case Interview Form” process. In this process the individual is asked when they first became ill and track backwards 3 days from that date to the day they were told to self-isolate in order to determine who their close or direct contacts are. A close or direct contact is anyone who was within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more. From there the Health Department begins outreach to the close contacts and informs them that they have been in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. The Health Department will then screen the close or direct contact for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. The Health Department will then follow a flow chart established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on guidance for how to progress such as the need for self-isolation. Depending on whether or not the individual who has tested positive is able to self-isolate determines the amount of time the contact must be quarantined.
Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Any individual under self-isolation is to monitor their symptoms in case they get worse. It is recommended that people take their temperature with a thermometer at least two times a day. If the symptoms become worse, the individual is to inform their healthcare provider.
Our Department of Health would like to remind residents that if you go to a medical facility, be sure to call ahead and wear a face mask. This information goes for people who are quarantined because they have come in contact with a positive case also. If you test positive for COVID-19 do not panic. Many people have mild illness which can be managed at home.
For general questions about COVID-19 please contact the New Jersey Department of Health’s call center at 1-800-962-1253. The call center is open 24/7 and has multi-language capacity.