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:

What to do if you are positive for Covid-19 (Note: at this time these isolation guidelines may not apply for covid positive individuals in certain settings, such as healthcare and pre-k/childcare centers)

(Information from the NJ Department of Health)

Covid-19 Vaccinations

Covid-19 vaccines are available. If you received a first dose the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, be sure to return for your second dose! Find more information here.

Learn about booster shot eligibility here (NJDOH).

Contact TracingGraphic of someone receiving a call on a smartphone with text "ANSWER THE CALL" on screen, and Opens in new window

If you have been identified as having been in close contact with someone who has Covid-19, you will be contacted by someone from the Health Department or a trained contact tracer. The contact tracer will provide you with guidance. Help keep our community safe by answering the call if you are contacted.

Contact Tracing FAQ (CDC)


COVID Alert NJ is New Jersey’s free and secure mobile app that anonymously alerts users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. The app also provides users with up-to-date information on New Jersey reopening news, key Covid-19 metrics, and a user-friendly symptom tracking tool. 


In addition to getting a Covid-19 vaccine, other measures you can take to keep you and others safe include...

  • Social distancing: Maintain a space of at least 6 feet between yourself and others. 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 mask when going out in public. This helps protect others with whom you might come into contact. Find out how to wear a mask effectively and answers to more questions here.

  • Please keep in mind that masks 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.

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

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.


Free Covid Testing

Biden Administration Free at Home Covid Test Kits
Beginning on Jan. 19, 2022 all households in the US are eligible to order up to four free (rapid antigen) home based covid tests.  The tests will be mailed to their home.
For more information and to order the tests they may visit https://www.covidtests.gov/

NJ Department of Health and Vault Medical Services
The NJ Department of Health has partnered with Vault Medical Services to offer free saliva based covid testing to NJ residents.  Residents of NJ may visit the website at the link below to order a saliva based covid test to be sent to their home.  The saliva test must be taken via supervision on zoom and then sent back to Vault.  After the test is sent back you will be notified of the result.
For more information and to order the test visit: https://learn.vaulthealth.com/nj/

Essex County Testing Locations
Essex county offers free covid testing to Essex County residents at any of their three locations.  To make an appointment visit essexcovid.org or call 973-877-8456.

Viral Testing

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

Additional places to get tested: 

Antibody Testing and Plasma Donation

More Information


From the CDC: Covid-19 and Pets (PDF)

Protecting yourself during Activities/Holidays/Events

From the CDC: Activities/Gatherings/Holidays

Monoclonal Therapies

Information on Monoclonal Therapy for Early Stage Covid-19 Treatment


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

You might also find answers to your questions here: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (CDC)

Mental Health and Support Resources

"Be SMART & inform yourself about #coronavirus" - from who.int