2019 Novel Coronavirus

Learn about COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) -- symptoms, prevention, testing, treatment, and other health concerns -- here. We will continue to update this page as information becomes available. The following are sources for up-to-date, factual, trustworthy information about the virus from experts:


Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself and others is by observing the following behaviors:

  • Social distancing: Maintain a space of at least 6 feet between yourself and others. Stay home as much as possible and do not congregate in groups, at events, etc.
  • Frequent hand washing: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure to thoroughly clean your hands. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Respiratory hygiene: Cover your mouth/nose when you cough/sneeze with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Immediately discard the tissue.

The CDC’s latest recommendations encourage use of a cloth face covering when going out in public on essential trips. This helps protect others with whom you might come into contact. Find out how to wear a cloth face covering effectively, how to make one, how to clean it, and answers to more questions here.

  • Please keep in mind that cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Surgical masks and N-95 respirators are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

The White House has released the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 30 Days to Slow the Spread (PDF). This program urges all to take specific measures to practice social distancing in order to slow the rate of COVID-19’s spread and decrease the risk to the most vulnerable members of our communities. 

On March 21, 2020, NJ Governor Phil Murphy issued an Executive Order directing nearly all residents to stay home. Read more...

Find more information from the WHO about protective measures here. Read the CDC’s "How to Protect Yourself" tips here.

Fact Sheets: Prevention


Common symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Read more from the CDC about symptoms and when to seek medical attention here.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

If you are sick, the CDC and NJ Department of Health recommend that you stay home and self-isolate, wear a mask around others, call ahead to seek medical attention, monitor your symptoms, and continue to thoroughly and frequently wash your hands and cover your coughs and sneezes. Read the fact sheets below for more information.

The CDC’s Coronavirus page now has a Coronavirus Self-Checker tool for those who think they might be sick. Visit this page and click on SELF-CHECKER to begin. A pop-up window will then guide you through a series of questions. Please note that the purpose of the Coronavirus Self-Checker is to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. This system is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of disease or other conditions, including COVID-19.


See the CDC’s recommendations for who should be tested, how to get tested, and what to do after you are tested.

Essex County operates a drive-through COVID-19 testing site for Essex County residents only at Weequahic Park in Newark, and satellite sites have now been added. Appointments are required, and a limited number of appointments are available each day it is open. Visit www.EssexCOVID.org or call 973-324-9950 to learn more and make an appointment. 

NJ Testing Centers (NJDOH)

Running Essential Errands

Protecting Yourself when Running Errands (CDC)

Fact Sheets: For Those Who Have Symptoms

Questions? Call or Text

We encourage residents to call the NJ COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-962-1253 or text using one of the methods below if they have general questions about novel coronavirus. The hotline is open 24/7 and has multi-language capacity. Callers who need medical advice should contact their health care provider.

The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State to provide information to the Public on COVID-19:

Blue speech bubble with Ŗ-1-1" in white

  • Call: 2-1-1
  • Call (24/7): 1-800-962-1253
  • Text: NJCOVID to 898-211
  • Text: your zip code to 898-211 for live text assistance

More Information

Essex County Coronavirus Cases by Municipality

Number of Cases in New Jersey and by County (NJDOH) 

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (CDC)

Guidance for Travelers (CDC)

Mental Health and Support Resources

  • Crisis Text Line: Text "NJ" to 741741
  • Family Helpline: 1-800-843-5437
  • Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-572-7233
  • Mental Health Hotline: 866-202-4357
  • Stress and Coping with COVID (CDC)
"Be SMART & inform yourself about #coronavirus" - from who.int