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Hunterdon Healthcare Preparedness

Since January 2020, Hunterdon Healthcare has been closely monitoring the Coronavirus situation and coordinating preparedness efforts with the Hunterdon County Department of Health and Hunterdon County Office of Emergency Management.

The hospital is actively following and implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) guidelines to avoid the spread of Coronavirus within the hospital, all outpatient locations, and Wellness Centers. The following are examples of many precautions Hunterdon Healthcare has or is in the process of implementing to prevent, protect, and care for not only patients and visitors but also the community at large.

April 1, 2020 Update Video with Pat Gavin

Please enjoy our latest video featuring Patrick Gavin, President and CEO, Hunterdon Healthcare.  Pat talks about today’s COVID-19 patient volume at Hunterdon Medical Center and plans for expanding our bed capacity as well as opening up the Respiratory Illness tent on Friday.

Screening in Place and Restriction on Visitors at HMC
The hospital is actively following CDC guidelines regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a precaution, Hunterdon Medical Center began COVID-19 screening at the main entrance of the hospital and Doctor’s Office Building. In accordance with New Jersey Department of Health guidelines, there will be no visitors allowed to see a patient starting March 18th (see special circumstance list below). All children under age 12 may not visit the hospital.

Exceptions may be made for these specific circumstances (Updated 3/27/20):
Maternity & Labor/Special Care Nursery: (only ONE significant other or adult support person)
Pediatric Unit: (only ONE parent/guardian)
Pediatric Psychiatric Patients: (only ONE if/when a mutual agreement between the parents/guardian and care team has been established)
Outpatients: (only ONE adult support person/aide if required)
Medical Group Practices: (only ONE adult support person)
Hospice: Extenuating circumstances will be considered based on the best interest and needs of the patient.

This screening will take place from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. All visitors and outpatients coming into the facility will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms which include fever (100 degrees or higher), cough, congestion sneezing, runny nose and/or trouble breathing. Those visitors that are ill and have arrived to see a patient will not be allowed to visit and will be asked to return when well (24 hours symptom-free without fever-reducing medication).Visitors coming for an outpatient test/procedure/appointment that has symptoms will be asked to wear a mask while in the hospital. We apologize for the inconvenience, but the health of our community is of our utmost concern.

Hunterdon Healthcare COVID-19 Hotline – Hunterdon Healthcare has created a hotline for the community to call in with questions regarding Coronavirus. As of Friday, June 26, 2020, the COVID-19 Community Hotline will be suspended. 

Respiratory Assessment Tent Tour – When needed, Hunterdon Healthcare intends to open a respiratory assessment tent for patients in the community whose primary care doctors can’t accommodate them.  Patients will be triaged in the tent before they go to the Emergency Department. Click on the link below for a video tour of the tent.

Respiratory Assessment Tent Tour

Respiratory Assessment Tent Tour in Spanish

Encouraging Social Distancing – In an effort to keep our community and employees well, Hunterdon Healthcare has marked all areas where people gather and sit to allow for adequate social distancing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance – approximately 6 feet – from others when possible.”

Cancellation of all Community Events/Support Groups/Meetings – All large events and meetings have been canceled until further notice. We made the decision to limit large group meetings at the hospital out of an abundance of caution.

Activation of Command Center – Hunterdon Healthcare opened its Command Center and created an email for providers and employees to get immediate answers to questions. Daily Coronavirus Updates are shared via email with all staff.

Advanced Cleaning Protocols – Hunterdon Healthcare uses a cleaning agent that kills the coronavirus. Strict cleaning protocols are in place for the hospital and all locations operated by Hunterdon Healthcare.

Creation of Additional Negative Pressure Rooms and Upgrade of Air Vent System – Negative pressure rooms help prevent cross-contamination from room-to-room.

Identification of Triage Areas – Specific locations in and around the hospital property have been identified to triage and treat COVID-19 patients if a surge occurs.

Restriction of Travel – All non-essential employee travel has been canceled. A system has been created for employees who have traveled to document their activities with Occupational Health Services prior to returning to work.

Provide Public Education Regarding Screening Criteria, Handwashing, and Social Distancing –Hunterdon Healthcare has created a section on its website dedicated to Coronavirus and updates it frequently.

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