N.J. patient does not have coronavirus, health department says

The patient at a Monmouth County hospital with a suspected case of coronavirus tested negative for the illness, the state Department of Health said Saturday.

The announcement means there are no confirmed cases of the virus in New Jersey. There are also no other people in New Jersey who are awaiting testing for the virus that causes COVID-19, state health officials said.

The patient had been isolated at Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel while being tested by the New Jersey Public Health Environmental Laboratories, officials said. Hackensack Meridian Health, the group that runs Bayshore, said the staff followed protocols when handling the patient.

“The care team at the hospital followed the protocols established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, ensuring the patient was isolated and treated appropriately,” said Hackensack Meridian Health CEO Robert Garrett. “We are very appreciative of all the efforts of the hospital team members and medical staff. We extend our best wishes to this patient for a speedy recovery.”

Five other people in the state have been tested for coronavirus in recent weeks, but officials say all of their test results came back negative. The state health department says there are 195 asymptomatic people in New Jersey who are self-quarantined based on their travel history, but none of them are considered high risk.