Tents set up outside the ER at Holy Name Medical Center to triage potential coronavirus cases. More than a 150 patients screened because of their travel or exposure to COVID-19. Several – ranging in age from 29 to 89 — in the ICU.
“They are critical,” said Dr. Adam Jarrett, chief medical officer at Holy Name Medical Center. “We have several other patients in the hospital that are stable and not critical. The vast majority of our patients that we’re tested are either minimally symptomatic and being home quarantined or home isolated.”
This is the epicenter of New Jersey’s novel coronavirus outbreak. A hospital trying to save lives. How? With oxygen to help breathing and more, explained Jarrett.
“We are using medications that are anti-virals, hopefully these medications will help, but none of these medications have been proven to help at this point,” he said.
Jarrett says Holy Name is following CDC guidelines and has tested and furloughed about 50 workers who’ve spent more than 2 to 3 minutes within six feet of a patient.
“All the hospitals need to do that. That is potentially going to create a major staffing problem. But again, every time we prevent a case, we potentially save lives – not because of that individual but because of that tree of infection it creates,” he said. “We are beginning to see that enough people are getting sick enough with this disease that somewhere along that tree, unfortunately someone will likely die.”
Teaneck encouraged all 41,000 residents to voluntarily self-quarantine and reduced restaurants to takeout and delivery only. Grocery stores may allow only 50 customers at a time.
Jarrett says the preventive measures might seem extreme but that’s what this pandemic calls for.
“The turning point is when we start seeing a flattening and decreasing number of cases that unfortunately, the only bullet that we have, the only treatment, the only weapon that we have to do that is to stay away from each other. We need to self-distance from each other to the extreme. This is how we’re going to prevent cases, save lives and allow the hospitals to care for patients who need it,” he said.