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Hunterdon News

Health Alert: Coronavirus

microscopic view of coronavirus on the surface of alveoli of respiratory tract
March 17, 2020

Hunterdon Healthcare System Employees, Interns, and Contractors Only:

If you have traveled outside the United States or have had potential exposure to a confirmed coronavirus case, you are required to notify Occupational Health via the Google form below as soon as possible and upon your return from traveling. This form is also available on the Intranet. If you are a Hunterdon Healthcare employee (including employed medical staff) as well as agency/contract staff, medical staff (non-employed), volunteers and student/intern/shadow, you must fill out this form: CORONAVIRUS SCREENING FORM

COVID Medical Exemption for Re-Deployment Form Please Click Here to Fill Out Form

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Hunterdon Healthcare Opens COVID-19 Hotline for Community

Hunterdon Healthcare has created a hotline for the community to call in with questions regarding Coronavirus. The Hunterdon Healthcare COVID Hotline can be reached by calling 908-788-6440. The hotline will be open seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

About Coronavirus

COVID-19 is a respiratory infection caused by a novel (new) virus that arose from the area of Wuhan, China in December 2019. CDC reported that the following affected geographic areas have confirmed widespread or sustained community transmission: China, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea. The virus is spread between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible that a person can also get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own nose, mouth, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads according to the CDC. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Symptoms can include fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath. At this time, the CDC believes that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

Signs and Symptoms

You can help stop by knowing the signs and symptoms of Coronavirus:
Shortness of Breath
Seek medical advice if you:
Develop symptoms
Have been in close contact with a person known to have coronavirus or if you live in or have recently been in an area with the ongoing spread of coronavirus.

The New Jersey Department of Health opened a hotline for the community to call with any questions concerning the Coronavirus: 1-800-222-1222.

If You Have Traveled To An area affected by Coronavirus…

If you were in an area affected by Coronavirus and feel sick with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left, you should:
Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
-Avoid contact with others.
-Not travel while sick.
-Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
-Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Tips to Avoid the Spread of
Respiratory Illness:

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, there are everyday preventive actions that should be used to prevent the spread of any respiratory diseases:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home if you are sick, especially with a fever.
• Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your sleeve, not your hands.
• CDC does not recommend that people who are well, wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 and/or Influenza to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
For acute respiratory illness; please remember to stay home from work/school until you are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications.

Resource Information for Schools and Businesses

Screening in Place and Age Restriction on Visitors at HMC

Our highest priority is the health and safety of our patients, their families, and our team members.

Due to the continuing evolution of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation Hunterdon Healthcare is restricting visitation across all of its hospitals and facilities.

Visitation exceptions will be made in certain situations, including:

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)
Intensive Care Unit: (only ONE significant other or adult support person)
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.

Once a visitor is approved, they will still need to complete our screening process for COVID-19 Symptoms, which includes fever (100 degrees or higher), cough, congestion sneezing, runny nose and/or trouble breathing. Phone and video calls to patients are welcome and encouraged.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but the health of our community is of our utmost concern.


Hunterdon Healthcare Confirms Positive Coronavirus Case

Hunterdon Healthcare received confirmation that a patient at Hunterdon Medical Center tested positive for Coronavirus COVID-19. This is the first case for Hunterdon Healthcare and Hunterdon County. The patient is doing well and has been discharged for home isolation.

Hunterdon Healthcare was proactively prepared to manage this situation and acutely followed all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for both the patient and our staff. Hunterdon Healthcare stands well-prepared to keep our community and employees safe throughout this public health crisis.

Briteside Adult Day Center To Close as of March 16th

Out of an abundance of caution, Briteside Adult Day Center will be closed as of March 16th until further notice. We are taking this proactive action to ensure the health and safety of our participants, families, and staff.

Hunterdon Healthcare Notified of Positive Coronavirus Case of Pennsylvania Resident

Pennsylvania resident was originally treated at Hunterdon Healthcare’s Raritan Borough Urgent Care.

On March 12, 2020, the Somerset County Health Department notified Hunterdon Healthcare on behalf of the Pennsylvania Health Department that a Pennsylvania resident originally seen at the Hunterdon Healthcare Raritan Urgent Care Center has tested positive for coronavirus.

The patient visited the Raritan Urgent Care Center on March 4, 2020, and presented with symptoms that did not meet the published criteria for coronavirus testing established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Jersey Department of Health. Security cameras in public areas have been reviewed and the patient did not have contact with other patients.

The Somerset Department of Health is working with the Hunterdon Healthcare Raritan Urgent Care Center to identify and determine if additional testing and follow-up are required for staff.


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