NJ Hospital Staff Was Exposed to Coronavirus — But They’re Still Working
ELIZABETH — An contract employee from Bergen County is still working at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth after testing positive for COVID-19, according to CEO Gary Horan.
The employee self-quarantined after experiencing minor symptoms then went a week with no symptoms and returned to work on Wednesday, Horan said.
"All protocols are being enforced, and we are identifying and contacting all patients and staff who may have been exposed, as per CDC guidelines," Horan said.
Healthcare workers are on the frontlines in what public officials have termed as a global war against the novel coronavirus.
New Jersey health and hospital officials are trying to increase hospital capacity in anticipation of a surge of critical patients. It could take weeks for Inspira Health to reopen the shuttered Underwood-Memorial Hospital in Underwood, which would provide hundreds of acute-care beds.
In an email to employees, the hospital said that man worked around the emergency room on March 10 and 11, NJ.com reported.
Gerard Muench, the hospital's emergency room director, told employees in the email that anyone who was exposed will still have to work while self-monitoring for symptoms and have their symptoms checked at the start and end of their shifts.
Trinitas has taken steps similar at other hospitals such as suspending patient visits and postponing elective surgery.
Three positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Elizabeth as of Wednesday, according to Mayor Chris Bollwage.