TRENTON, NJ - St. Joseph’s Health CEO and President Kevin Slavin identified Dr. James Pruden as the patient medical professionals are treating in Paterson for COVID-19, coronavirus. Pruden, who was admitted on March 6, with “respiratory and cold-like symptoms”, is the hospital’s Medical Director of Medical Preparedness.
Pruden was “tested according to the New Jersey Department of Health protocols for coronavirus and is at this presumptive positive,” Slavin said, adding that the longtime medical professional is currently under isolation and “receiving the best medical care.”
“Jim’s a longtime beloved member of our staff and revered throughout the Paterson community,” Slavin said, continuing that he is recognized as a leader in EMS and preparedness. “Dr. Pruden is the person always on the frontlines.”
While federal law would prohibit any medical facility from releasing patient information, Pruden gave permission for his condition to be made public because he “recognizes that by sharing his name and condition it may encourage others to come forward and get tested,” Slavin said.
Slavin said that Pruden’s presumptive positive status is indicative of the fact that “we are all at risk of this,” and offered assurance that in the wake of him showing the signs of the illness St. Joseph’s Health’s response “followed all state and CDC guidelines to contain the further spread of the virus” including immediately initiating contact tracing steps along with county and city public health officials to identify and inform anyone that may have been infected.
“I am relieved to share that of all of those individuals, including hospital staff and patients, none at this time have tested presumptive positive,” he said, urging any individuals not identified to call their physician or the state hotline to be seen and, if necessary, tested.
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