COVID-19 Updates from Mercer County

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COVID-19 Mercer


Brian Hughes

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes today issued an executive order declaring a countywide state of emergency to help coordinate the local response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Executive Order 2020-01 authorizes all necessary county agencies to take appropriate action to assist municipal governments in containing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from this COVID-19 outbreak, and it follows Gov. Phil Murphy's direction in recommending cancellation of all scheduled public gatherings of more than 250 people, including concerts, parades and events.

“We understand that our residents are concerned about this rapidly evolving situation, and we’re determined to take whatever steps are necessary to minimize the risks for the people of Mercer County,” Mr. Hughes said, adding that the County is following all infectious disease guidelines and protocol as provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The executive order also allows Mercer County and its municipalities to seek federal reimbursement for extraordinary measures.

Mr. Hughes said that while issuance of the executive order is a necessary step, the CDC reports that for the majority of people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low, and there is no cause for alarm. He urged everyone to continuing taking everyday preventive actions to keep themselves healthy.

Mercer County seal


County Executive Brian M. Hughes again warned consumers to beware of price gouging and consumer fraud related to fears surrounding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Mercer County Division of Consumer Affairs/Weights & Measures is working with the State Division of Consumer Affairs to make sure businesses are aware that the state of emergency that Gov. Phil Murphy declared for New Jersey on March 9 put New Jersey’s price-gouging law into effect.

This law prohibits excessive price increases during a declared state of emergency, or for 30 days after the termination of the state of emergency. Excessive price increases are defined as price increases that are more than 10 percent higher than the price at which merchandise was sold during the normal course of business prior to the state of emergency. 

Price-gouging violations are punishable by civil penalties of up to $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. Violators may also be required to pay consumer restitution, attorney’s fees, investigative fees, and injunctive relief. Each individual sale of merchandise is considered a separate and distinct violation.

Consumers are also urged to beware of in-store or online advertisements for products that claim to cure or prevent COVID-19 or other offers and solicitations related to the disease.

Consumers who suspect price gouging or consumer fraud in Mercer County may contact the Mercer County Division of Consumer Affairs/Weights & Measures at 609-989-6671 or visit the Division online for information on how to file a complaint. Suspected incidents in other jurisdictions in New Jersey can be reported to the State Division of Consumer Affairs at 973-504-6200 or online at

Medical Reserve Corps


County Executive Hughes said that people who are interested in assisting their community during a crisis should consider joining the Mercer County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).

The Mercer County MRC unit invites any licensed health care professional, professional or retired, who lives or works in Mercer County and any community volunteer who lives or works in Mercer County who has an interest in health and emergency preparedness issues to join. MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources to prepare for and respond to emergencies at a local level. All volunteers receive free training.

Sign up to be an MRC volunteer by creating an account on the New Jersey Learning Management Network. CLICK HERE for instructions. For more information, contact Stephanie Mendelsohn at 609-989-6898 or

COVID-19 symptoms-cough


Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Call ahead to a health care professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your health care professional about your recent travel or contact. Your health care professional will work with the State Health Department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

For more information on preventing the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick, visit

Coronavirus -- cover coughs and sneezes


Everyone can play a part in responding to this emerging, rapidly evolving public health threat. It is currently flu and respiratory disease season and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting a flu vaccine and taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs. This includes:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect recently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For information about handwashing, see the CDC’s Handwashing website.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including cases in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

CDC monitor


The New Jersey Department of Health on March 12 announced six more presumptive positive cases, bringing the total of presumptive positive cases in the state to 29. (A presumptive positive case means the sample tested positive for COVID-19 at a state lab and has been sent to the CDC for confirmation.) The cases break down by county as follows: Bergen, 13; Monmouth, five; Burlington, two; Middlesex, two; Camden, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Union, one each. State officials reported there were 37 pending tests at the state lab. They said they do not know how many tests are pending at private labs. Although the DOH has not reported any presumptive positive cases involving Mercer County residents, a 62-year-old Burlington County man who tested presumptive positive works at a cardiac care center in Robbinsville that has been closed for enhanced cleaning, the Robbinsville Office of Emergency Management reported. In addition, 14 Princeton residents who attended a private party in Princeton where five attendees from out of state have tested presumptive positive are under self-quarantine, the Princeton Health Department reported.

The CDC on March 12 announced a total of 1,215 cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and a total of 36 deaths, with 42 states and the District of Columbia reporting cases. This includes both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since Jan. 21, 2020. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. 

The federal government has been working closely with state and local partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this public health threat. Unprecedented, aggressive efforts have been taken to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of this virus.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. CDC will continue to update the public as circumstances warrant.  For more information about COVID-19 visit  


24-Hour Public Hotline -- 1-800-222-1222. Trained health care professionals are standing by to answer your questions about COVID-19. The call is free.

For handouts and posters on the coronavirus to share with your coworkers, family and friends, please visit the CDC at: 

Information for Travel. At this time, the CDC recommends avoiding nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy. Updated travel information specific to COVID-19 can be found at:

We will present you with updated information as it becomes available to us at Mercer County, and we assure you that we will actively collaborate with our partners in health at the state and federal levels. 

COVID-19 Situation Summary