State of Emergency
Jersey City Mayor and Healthcare Leadership Unveil Screening System to Prepare for Potential Influx of Emergency Room Patients amid Covid-19 Pandemic
Jersey City – Mayor Steven M. Fulop joined Christ Hospital healthcare professionals today to officially open a new system set up in temporary structures outside of the hospital’s emergency room to prescreen walk-ins before they enter the hospital building through the emergency room. This system will help streamline the admitting process by evaluating and identifying those who are infected with the coronavirus to ensure proper treatment, while safeguarding hospital employees from exposure and to better accommodate the expected increase in patients without inundating the emergency room.
“We were the first in the nation to post social restrictions, and today, we’re one of the first in the state to set up a protocol and procedure at the hospital to keep the health care professionals and patients safe amid this crisis,” said Mayor Fulop. “We have been aggressive and will continue to be, and this ER triage tent is the latest step in our efforts to work proactively to help mitigate the spread of this virus as much as possible.”
According to experts with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Coronavirus pandemic has yet to hit is peak in the United States. With most of the country still in the initiation phases of this international pandemic, the CDC states the duration and severity of each phase can vary depending on local public health response.
“We’re in two fights: The virus and fear. I want to tell people they don’t have to be fearful, you can prevent the spread by washing your hands and avoiding any face touching. Most patients do quite well at home,” said Dr. Tucker Woods, Chief Medical Officer of Christ Hospital. “This ER triage tent is multi-purpose – we can screen patients before entering the building, and if they do have Covid-19, we can treat about 75-percent of the positive cases with any necessary prescriptions and chest X-rays, and we can send them home with guidelines to self-quarantine and follow up with their personal care physician.”
Since the State of Emergency, Jersey City has kept essential city services functioning with skeleton crews, while all first responder departments continue to maintain full staffing status. First responders have been trained on how to handle calls where people believe they have been in contact with the virus.
“One of the things that we’ve learned is that we need to protect the front lines,” said Marie Duffy, Chief Hospital Executive of Christ Hospital. “I’m thankful for all our health care workers here at Christ Hospital and across the nation, as we’re battling this virus every day. I want to thank them for their dedication and support as we care for our patients our community’s overall health and safety.”
City officials have consistently spread the edict to residents since the outset of the pandemic.
“If you’re sick with something that you normally wouldn’t go to the emergency room for, then don’t go to the emergency room. Call your primary care doctor first,” said Stacey Flanagan, Director of Jersey City’s Department of Health and Human Services. “We are also working on a city-level to mobilize our resources such as meals to seniors now being delivered, and WIC checks being delivered by mail to support social distancing efforts.”
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