Last Updated: February 14, 2020
What you need to know
New Jersey currently has no confirmed COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, the U.S. is now reporting 15 COVID-19 cases in seven states (Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington).
The World Health Organization (WHO) gave the 2019 novel coronavirus a new name: COVID-19. The CO stands for corona, the VI for virus and the D for disease.
The virus has sickened more than 64,000 people globally and killed more than 1,380. Case count jumped recently due to a change in China’s diagnostic criteria. The majority of cases and deaths have occurred in Hubei Province.
The U.S. government has declared COVID-19 a public health emergency. U.S. citizens returning to the U.S. who have been in China’s Hubei province in the past two weeks will be subject to a mandatory quarantine for up to 14 days. U.S. citizens returning from mainland China in the past two weeks will be screened and then face up two 14 days of monitored self-quarantine. The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory to not travel to China due to the outbreak. Flights arriving from China are being diverted to 11 U.S. airports, including Newark Liberty International Airport and JFK International Airport.
The CDC released revised criteria to guide evaluation of patients under investigation: Click here to check out the criteria.
The Respiratory Pathogen Panel (RPP) PCR assay only detects common coronaviruses. This assay does not test for and cannot detect COVID-19, SARS, or MERS. The CDC is releasing diagnostic test kits to 200 labs in the U.S., including state and local health departments.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. At least 28 countries and territories are reporting at least one novel coronavirus patient. Transmission from asymptomatic cases has been documented.
Screening for Novel Coronavirus Infections
HMH has updated COVID-19 screening questions to the Epic travel screen section of the admission navigator.This is now live for our inpatient, ambulatory and Emergency Departments. You can find information on these new questions in the “What’s New…?” message board on the Learning Home Dashboard for all the specialty applications. You can view the CDC’s flowchart for assessing and identifying the COVID-19 by clicking here.
The simple travel screen questions to use are:
- Do you have new onset of fever or symptoms of lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath)?
- Did you travel to mainland China within 14 days of onset of your symptoms or have you had close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19 (Wuhan, China) strain? If yes:
- Place a surgical face mask on the patient.
- Move to a negative pressure room, or, if unavailable, a private single room with the door closed. Limit room access to only essential team members involved in the patient’s care.
- Initiate airborne and contact precautions. Team members should not double mask, double gown or double glove.
- Notify infection prevention and your local health department. To find your local health department’s contact information click here for an interactive map or click here to download N.J.’s Directory of Local Health Departments.
Hackensack Meridian Health Infection Prevention Teams
- Hackensack University Medical Center: 551-996-2067
- Palisades Medical Center: 201-854-5238
- Mountainside Medical Center: 973-429-6995
- Pascack Valley Medical Center: 201-781-1253
- JFK Medical Center: 732-321-7539
- Raritan Bay Medical Center: 732-324-5046
- Bayshore Medical Center: x7348 or 732-888-7348
- Riverview Medical Center: x2429 or 732-530-2429
- Jersey Shore University Medical Center: x64168 or 732-776-4168
- Ocean Medical Center: x4247 or 732-836-4247
- Southern Ocean Medical Center: x8924 or 609-978-8924
If you have a suspected case, please wear the following personal protective equipment:
- A N95 respirator mask must be worn when in the same room as the case.
- Gowns and gloves must be worn upon room entry.
- Eye protection (googles or face shield mask) should be used within 6 feet of the suspected case.
Practice Respiratory Etiquette
Patient and visitors may visit our facilities with a cough or flu-like illness. If these individuals must visit, then they should:
- Wear a surgical face mask.
- Use a tissue or sleeve to cough or sneeze into.
- Wash hands after coughing or sneezing.
Infection Prevention will continue to monitor the outbreak and provide updates as necessary. If you have questions or concerns, please email InfectiousDiseaseUpdates@hackensackmeridian.org.
HMH COVID-19 FAQ
HMH COVID-19 Alert Flyer
- Coronavirus Health Alert Flyer, English and Chinese
- Coronavirus Health Alert Flyer, Korean
- Coronavirus Health Alert Flyer, Spanish
- NJDOH Surveillance Criteria and Testing for 2019-nCoV
- NJDOH Guidance on Infection Prevention and Control for 2019-nCoV
- NJDOH 2019-nCoV (Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China) webpage
- CDC Interim U.S. Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Healthcare Personnel with Potential Exposure in a Healthcare Setting to Patients with COVID-19
- CDC Travel Warning Poster
- CDC’s 2019 novel coronavirus, Wuhan, China webpage
- IDSA Novel Coronavirus Resource webpage
- World Health Organization Novel Coronavirus