HOLMDEL, NJ – The test was negative. This great news was the result of testing a suspected first case of Coronavirus in Holmdel Township.
Monmouth County Freeholder Sue Kiley shared the news in a conversation with TAPinto Holmdel and Colts Neck. Kiley is the liaison to the Monmouth County Department of Health and Human Services. She received the news at 5:01PM from the Health Department who interfaced directly with the hospital.
Kiley said, "They are in constant contact with all the medical professionals. We have daily conference calls on the Coronavirus, and State and Federal officials, local hospitals and providers of care - there is tremendous communication going on so when something happens, we know it right away, and we act quickly."
"It's important for people to know that the county and your towns and your emergency rooms are well-prepared for the possibility of seeing a patient with the Coronavirus. We, as citizens should continue to be diligent in our hand washing, avoid being by folks that are sick. If your children are sick, keep them home from school and continue to use the general precautions that we use for the flu, which by the way continues to be the biggest problem we have - not the Coronavirus. If you haven't received your flu vaccine - get it.
In the case that is now confirmed to be negative, local hospital officials at Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center managed the case according to their strict protocols.
"The care team at the hospital followed the protocols established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, ensuring the patient was isolated and treated appropriately. We are very appreciative of all the efforts of the hospital team members and medical staff,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health. “We extend our best wishes to this patient for a speedy recovery.”
“We are very appreciative of all the efforts of our Bayshore team members and medical staff,” said Frank Citara, chief hospital executive, Bayshore Medical Center. “We want our patients to know they are our number one priority and they can always count on Bayshore Medical Center to receive safe, high quality care.”
According to Dr. Jerry Zukerman, Vice President of Infection Prevention and Control for Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center, the hospital initiated the following protocols:
Isolation of the patient.
Use of dedicated equipment and appropriate personal protective equipment.
Proper management and disposal of all materials associated with treatment.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
TAPinto HCN wants local readers to know everything they can about the Coronavirus. Fact Sheets in English, simplified Chinese and Spanish are attached below:
Governor Murphy released information late on Saturday: “Most New Jersey residents are at low risk for novel coronavirus,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “If individuals are having symptoms, the illness is much more likely to be caused by common respiratory viruses such as flu or the common cold.”
The New Jersey Department of Health works with hospitals and local health departments throughout respiratory virus and flu season on hundreds of disease outbreaks each year and this supports the state’s preparedness for potential novel coronavirus cases. New Jersey hospitals are prepared to handle coronavirus cases.
The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) has been working to prepare for and respond to the evolving novel coronavirus since early January. The Department shared state and CDC guidance with hospitals, local health officials, K-12 schools, universities and businesses; established a novel coronavirus webpage; partnered with the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) to open a call center (1-800-222-1222) for the public; hosted stakeholder teleconferences; and continues coordinating state efforts weekly with the New Jersey Coronavirus Task Force chaired by Commissioner Persichilli.
To date, the 24/7 NJPIES hotline (1-800-222-1222) has received more than 750 calls from the public and can accommodate callers in multiple languages.
At this time, testing for the virus that causes novel coronavirus will not be performed on individuals with mild illness who are not at high risk for the disease. For those individuals with mild illness, the New Jersey Department of Health does not recommend that they seek medical attention. For those who have traveled to China or been exposed to people known to have novel coronavirus within the past 14 days and who have fever and symptoms such as cough, the Department recommend seeking medical attention. Individuals who fall into this category should call ahead before visiting the doctor's office or emergency room to inform them about possible exposure and symptoms.
“The Department continues to remind residents to take necessary precautions to protect themselves from all respiratory viruses, such as washing their hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick,” said Persichilli.
Local School Action
Holmdel schools is already proactive on the basic protections and recommendations, much of it basic common sense, to protect against flus and virus infection in general. The informational email to parents from Holmdel School Administration applies to Holmdel Schools specifically but would be useful in any school in New Jersey and public spaces in general. Email is here:
Recent information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more cases of COVID-19 “are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States.” As such, we are monitoring alerts from the CDC about the possibility of the spread of the Coronavirus within the United States and are continuing to follow the latest guidance posted by the New Jersey Department of Education and the New Jersey Department of Health.
Please note, at this time we have no concerns about this virus in our schools.
Our district has a policy in place that guides us through these types of circumstances. District Policy 8451 - Control of Communicable Disease outlines clear procedures and steps that we must follow in any infectious disease situation. This policy requires that we comply with all regulations of the New Jersey Department of Health and Monmouth County Board of Health. These offices govern the prevention, control, and reporting of all communicable diseases. While these protocols are in place, we recognize that COVID-19 has the potential to lead to an unprecedented situation that may call for additional collaboration and compliance with directives from local and state agencies.
According to the CDC, “While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat.” The CDC suggests that you can take active measures to maintain respiratory health. As a paren/guardian, you can help by taking the following steps:
- Help your child to develop the habit of washing her/his hands regularly.
- Tell your child to avoid touching her/his face, especially noses and eyes.
- Encourage and demonstrate for your child how to cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the inside of her/his elbow.
- Remind your child that if they are not feeling well or exhibit flu-like symptoms while in school they should visit the nurse immediately.
Per the CDC recommendations, we are taking active steps to increase the frequency of disinfecting surfaces that are common "touch points" throughout our schools and we are working with our transportation contractors to ensure similar approaches with our buses.
If you or someone in your family doesn’t feel well, please seek out a healthcare provider. For the latest information, please visit the New Jersey Department of Health website linked above.
TAPinto Holmdel, Colts Neck and Middletown will update the story as more information becomes available. Please subscribe to recieve free daily news all year long at tapinto.net/enews.