Atlantic Health System, in a statement issued Monday, assured its patients and communities that it is working closely with local, state and federal public health agencies, as well as its own health care professionals, to assure that Atlantic Health System is prepared for the evolving Novel Coronavirus.


“As always, Atlantic Health System’s top priority is the safety of our patients, communities and health care professionals,” the hospital, which includes Newton Medical Center, said in the statement.


“Our expert clinicians regularly care for patients with severe respiratory illnesses and other infectious diseases. They are well trained and follow specific procedures using all the tools and techniques in place to protect themselves, including the use of personal protective equipment. We are drawing on this experience as we continue to prepare and address key issues, including the early recognition and isolation of any patient identified as being high risk for COVID-19.”


Meanwhile, in a press conference held Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey has no cases of the new coronavirus.


Murphy spoke from a state police facility alongside Cabinet and other officials, including Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. Persichilli said one person in New Jersey is under investigation, but was not hospitalized and did not have a fever.


Monday's news conference was the governor's latest update on the virus, which has resulted in a global death toll over 3,000, with the number of people infected topping 89,000.


Murphy last month set up a task force to prepare for handling the virus, and Persichilli said a crisis management team has been meeting daily.


In its statement, Atlantic Health System reminded the public of everyday preventative actions that can be taken to help limit the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and flu.


• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub for at least 20 seconds


• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth


• Avoid close contact (6 feet) with people who appear to have a respiratory infection


“It is also important that if you are having symptoms, you call ahead of your visit to the doctor to communicate travel history and symptoms before arriving, enabling the provider to determine the best setting for you to receive care.


“Finally, it is critical that our communities know where to obtain the most accurate and current information from credible sources. The New Jersey Department of Health has a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-222-1222, where trained healthcare professionals are standing by to answer questions about COVID-19. The CDC and NIH are also excellent sources for the latest information.”