A man who became New Jersey's first presumptive positive case of the new coronavirus remains in the hospital after a week.

The 32-year-old man from Fort Lee, who first experienced symptoms on March 1 after attending a healthcare conference in Manhattan, went to an emergency room on March 2 and was admitted to Hackensack Medical Center on March 3. He had one household contact who is in self quarantine.

James Cai told ABC 7 Eyewitness News he went to a medical meeting at the Westin Hotel in Times Square, where he believes he was exposed to the virus. A CT scan at an emergency room showed a small lesion on his lung, which led to the COVID-19 test at Englewood Hospital.

Cai, a physician's assistant, told CBS New York that as the virus spread to his lungs, symptoms of diarrhea, watery eyes, shortness of breath, chest pain and fever became worse.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told the New York Post that the day after the medical conference, Cai visited with 11 patients at the King David nursing and rehab facility in Brooklyn while wearing a mask.

New Jersey's coronavirus case total went up to 15 on Tuesday, the same day state officials announced that one of those patients had died. 

Steps to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold will also help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the New Jersey Department of Health:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. If they're not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

The CDC says symptoms of COVID-19, which may appear two to 14 days after exposure, include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If individuals are experiencing symptoms, they should call their healthcare provider before visiting their office.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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