The New Jersey Department of Health today announced the opening of a hotline (1-800-222-1222) for the public to ask questions about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

“Although the risk to the public remains low, we understand that residents have questions about this new virus,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “This hotline provides factual information to alleviate fear and dispel rumors.”

The hotline is being operated by the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES), also known as the New Jersey Poison Center, which has run other call centers for the Health Department. NJPIES is a division of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. The hotline can accommodate callers in multiple languages. As a 24-hour hotline staffed continuously with trained healthcare professionals, the New Jersey Poison Center is standing by to answer questions about this emerging infection. The call is always free, and we can communicate in any language to the public as well as healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Diane Calello, Executive and Medical Director of NJPIES.

The hotline is part of a comprehensive approach by the state and medical and public health partners to respond to novel coronavirus (nCoV) by ensuring the public health and health care system preparedness.

The Department has a nCoV webpage that includes CDC updates, travel advisories and guidance sent to health care providers, local health departments, infection preventionists and other health partners.

“The Department reminds individuals with recent travel to Wuhan, China or close contact with someone who has and are experiencing symptoms, to call their health care provider in advance before arriving to the office so they can make accommodations in advance,

New Jersey continues to work closely with the CDC and local health partners to monitor the situation and will provide updates accordingly