Coronavirus reaches New Jersey as state confirms its first presumptive positive case of novel virus

New Jersey has joined a growing list of states with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. On Wednesday, officials in the state confirmed the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in a 32-year-old male.

The patient, who was not identified, has been hospitalized in Bergen County since March 3, according to a news release from the State of New Jersey Department of Health.  The positive case “came from a sample tested by the New Jersey Department of Health at the New Jersey Public Health Environmental Laboratories (PHEL) and is now being submitted to the CDC for confirmatory testing,” said officials, who are now tracking the man’s close contacts to identify anyone who may have been exposed.

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“My administration is working aggressively to keep residents safe and contain the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “We take this situation very seriously and have been preparing for this for weeks. I urge residents to remain calm and use resources from the New Jersey Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control to prepare and prevent the spread of infection.”

It was not immediately clear how the man contracted the virus.

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The news comes as neighboring New York has reported more coronavirus cases in recent days, with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reporting two additional cases of the virus early Thursday. The new cases — both New York City residents, a man in his 40s and a woman in her 80s — are currently in the intensive care unit and have no connection to any of the other reported cases or travel history to areas currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak.

The two new cases came just one day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state has seen 11 cases of coronavirus, the majority of which have been linked to a Westchester County man who has underlying respiratory issues but is said to be improving.

The man, who works as an attorney in midtown Manhattan, visited a Bronxville hospital before being transferred to New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. His wife, two children and a neighbor who drove him to the hospital all eventually tested positive for the illness, as did several other members of a family who had contact with him.

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The state's first case involves a 39-year-old health care worker who lives in Manhattan and had traveled to Iran. She has been recovering at her home and did not need hospitalization. Her husband, who was also experiencing possible symptoms, tested negative.

Fox News' Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.