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Dr. Stephanie Silvera Believes COVID-19 Might Have Been Spreading as Early as January 2020

Posted in: College News and Events

The COVID-19 ICU at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck during the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.Jeff Rhode

Dr. Stephanie Silvera, Professor in the Public Health Department, told, “Right now the data are pointing, most likely, to early- to mid-February — but there’s certainly the possibility of cases emerging in late January.” Additionally, “There has been reporting of some cases in mid-February that were initially not coded as COVID-related deaths in the metro New York, New Jersey area,” Dr. Silvera said.

As New Jersey is located close to New York City, it is quite possible that infections occurred at an earlier date than originally believed: “We’ve got three significant international hubs for air travel, and people from New York and New Jersey use all three of those,” stated Dr. Silvera.

As she noted, “This was initially just thought to be a respiratory illness,” so many symptoms went unrecognized.