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Friday, April 03, 2020

(Courtesy of St. Mary’s General Hospital) St. Mary’s General Hospital and Prime Healthcare are closely monitoring novel coronavirus (COVID-19) developments and are actively implementing Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocols. St. Mary’s General remains in close contact with state and local health officials to ensure that we receive the latest information and have installed the most appropriate precautions in place for the safety of our team, our patients and our community.

 

Currently No COVID-19 Cases

Currently there are no COVID-19 patients receiving treatment within St. Mary’s General Hospital in Passaic. COVID-19 has impacted a growing subset of individuals within the United States with 4,138 cases and 71 deaths as of March 16, 3:30 p.m. New Jersey currently is reporting 122 positive cases and two deaths, with New York State reporting 954 cases and six deaths. For the latest numbers, please see “Trusted Resources” below.

 

Hospital Preparedness

St. Mary’s General Hospital is currently in compliance with the CDC hospital preparedness checklist. In addition, COVID-19 town hall meetings and one-on-one presentations on nursing units will be ongoing.

 

Emergency Room Fast Track

St. Mary’s General has established a “fast track” in the emergency department specifically dedicated to screening and isolating potential cases of patients displaying symptoms of COVID-19. A protocol has been developed whereby security or patient access will screen the patient at the door as he/she enters the ED. A series of questions will be asked, and the answers given will determine where the patient will go.

Similar stringent protocols are in place to where a patient is transferred.

 

Visitor Policy

For the safety of all our patients, their loved ones and the community we serve, St. Mary’s General Hospital has updated our patient visitor policy, effective immediately. COVID-19 is a novel virus that poses an unprecedented threat to our patients, especially those who are elderly, have underlying medical conditions or have compromised immune systems. Because of this COVID-19 outbreak in New Jersey, the new visitor policy will be strictly enforced.

NO hospital visitors will be allowed until further notice.

Limited exceptions include:

o Patients in end-of-life care.

o One (1) visitor/support person for maternity patients.

o One (1) visitor/support person for an individual undergoing same-day surgery or an ambulatory procedure.

Visitors who meet the above exceptions will be subject to a screening to assess whether a visitor may be a potential risk, and if so, the individual will not be allowed to visit. Additionally, visitors who meet the above exceptions must follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette precautions while in the facility. Any visitor who is coughing or appears ill will be asked to leave the facility.

St. Mary’s General Hospital makes every effort to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all our patients. These visitor restrictions are based solely on the safety of our patients and the community.

 

Community Programming

In the interest of safety for all our community members, St. Mary’s General Hospital will be suspending all Senior Link & Community Outreach programs taking place at the hospital until further notice. This includes the Senior Link Dinner Program in Cafe Maria, which may be a major inconvenience to some of the 2,000+ members of Senior Link. However, the safety of our community is our priority during this time. We are also asking all the members of our community to take the lead in your own personal hygiene and to avoid contact with people in group gatherings. This is very significant when it comes to senior citizens, and those with underlying respiratory issues and/or immune system disorders.

If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to learn more about COVID-19, please visit the NJDOH website at www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_community.shtml, or call the NJDOH 24-Hour Public Hotline: 1-800-222-1222.

 

Screening Practices

St. Mary’s General Hospital is currently following CDC recommendations in posting of signage at all hospital entrances (main lobby, cancer center, physical therapy, specialty clinic and the emergency room) to ensure any individual with respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and/or travel history from high-risk countries as designated by CDC and/or contact with known or suspect COVID-19 person to immediately notify triage personnel and put on a mask upon entry to the facility.

 

Employees and Medical Staff Returning From Travel, Or Exposure

St. Mary’s General Hospital has put into place a protocol to screen all employees and medical staff returning to work after traveling abroad. All employees and medical staff who have traveled or have had an exposure history for COVID-19 are required to contact the hospital’s departments of employee health or infection prevention to coordinate a screening process that begins by phone and continues with a physical examination, in advance of their next scheduled shift. Only after completion of this evaluation, will employees and medical staff be approved to return to work.

 

Trusted Resources

Because this situation is continuously evolving, please refer to the resources below for updated information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 

World Health Organization

https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus 

Global Case Dashboard

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 

St. Mary’s General Hospital and Prime Healthcare are diligently monitoring this situation and will provide regular updates. We thank our committed and dedicated staff for all they are doing to ensure we provide excellent care every day.

For additional information or a tour of the hospital contact the community liaison, George Matyjewicz, PhD, at [email protected].