COVID-19 Patient and Visitor Information
Find out what we’re doing to keep patients, visitors and staff safe during COVID-19.
Please take a moment to watch this video featuring our chief medical officer, Dr. Hamid Shaaban discussing the virus that causes COVID-19 and why our community must take the virus seriously.
Please take a moment to watch Dr. Christina Picciano of the Primary and Speciality Care Center at Saint Michael’s, who answers some common questions about what to do if you have the symptoms of coronavirus, but can’t get tested. She also has some practical advise about how to prevent transmission of the virus.
I tested postive for COVID-19. What should I do now? Read more.
I tested negative for COVID-19. What should I do now? Read more.
Your Safety is Our Top Priority
You may be concerned about news of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and its implications for your health and those of your loved ones. Your safety and well-being are our top priority.
Please know that:
- We are taking all necessary measures and precautions to protect the safety of our patients and staff.
- We specialize in the care of patients with complex illnesses and have experience with managing and containing novel viruses.
- This is a rapidly evolving situation and we suggest you check out the latest updates on the CDC website as well as nj.gov/health.
- Hospital visitor policies have been updated to reflect state and national efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and New Jersey. This policy may change at any time due to the rapidly evolving situation.
- NO VISITORS TO THE HOSPITAL WILL BE ALLOWED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
- Visitors to patients at end of life will be allowed at the discretion of the care team.
- If requested by the physician as essential in the delivery of healthcare.
- Phone and video calls to patients are welcomed and encouraged.
- You may also call 973-877-5000, and the operator will transfer the call to your loved one.
- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. entrance and the outpatient entrance are closed. All patients must enter through the Central Avenue Entrance or the Main Entrance off MLK Blvd. All visitors will be screened. Visitors who show any signs of illness, including mild symptoms, should not visit patients in the hospital or accompany patients to the emergency department.
Due to public health concerns related to COVID-19, the Health Information Management Department is closing the office to the public to eliminate person to person contact. More information about how to obtain your medical records can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Novel Coronavirus
What is our hospital doing to protect patients?
- We are screening patients with symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath and with a history of travel within the past 14 days to communities with widespread or sustained community transmission of the coronavirus.
- If we have a confirmed or potential patient with COVID-19, we will institute standard infectious disease protocols, as well as additional measures, to prevent the potential spread of the virus. All healthcare providers who have contact with the patient will use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
How concerned should I be about the coronavirus?
- As of now, the seasonal flu remains a significant health risk.
- Coronaviruses can cause the common cold and pneumonia. Most people infected with the novel coronavirus have mild cold symptoms. A small fraction of people, however, may require more intensive care. We understand your concern about protecting yourself from respiratory diseases.
- We have launched an online self-checker for the novel coronavirus in the form of a bot nicknamed Robby. Robby walks users through symptoms and then gives recommendations if medical care is needed. Robby is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment purposes. Click the blue “Start Self-Check Assessment” button to launch the self-checker:
- Keep informed of the risk by checking the situation update on the CDC website.
What if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms?
Call your medical provider for medical advice.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, including*:
- Difficultly breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistant pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
GET MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY.
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
What can I do to protect myself?
It is understandable to feel uncertain or anxious during a public health crisis, and we need to remember to avoid making assumptions about others’ perceived symptoms or any characteristics of identity. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent the novel coronavirus infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
Here are the current CDC recommendations to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Take everyday preventive actions for respiratory infections, such as avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home when sick, and washing hands often.
- Avoid traveling to places with widespread or sustained community transmission of the coronavirus. A good place for reliable travel information can be found on the CDC’s travel advisory page.
Stay Home in New Jersey
On Saturday, March 21, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 107, directing all residents to stay at home until further notice. The order provides for certain exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities.
Governor Murphy’s Executive Order further directs the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public, with the exceptions of:
- Grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store
- Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries
- Medical supply stores
- Gas stations
- Convenience stores
- Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities
- Hardware and home improvement stores
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Laundromats and dry-cleaning services
- Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years
- Pet stores
- Liquor stores
- Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics
- Printing and office supply shops
- Mail and delivery stores
- Cell phone stores
- Bicycle shops
- Livestock feed stores
- Garden centers
- Farming equipment stores
Nothing in the Order shall limit:
- the provision of health care or medical services;
- access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks;
- the operations of the media;
- law enforcement agencies, or
- the operations of the federal government.
Examples of employees who need to be present at their work site in order to perform their job duties include, but are not limited to:
- law enforcement officers
- fire fighters
- other first responders
- cashiers or store clerks
- construction workers
- utility workers
- repair workers
- warehouse workers
- lab researchers
- IT maintenance workers
- janitorial and custodial staff
- certain administrative staff
Should I wear a mask?
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Have general questions about COVID-19?
The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State of New Jersey to provide information to the public on COVID-19:
Call: (24/7): 1-800-962-1253
Text: NJCOVID to 898-211
Text: your zip code to 898-211 for live text assistance
Visit: nj.gov/health for additional information
Where can I learn more?
Concerned patients and family members should talk with their healthcare provider.
You can also find more information about the virus from these websites.
- CDC/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (updated daily with advice for public)
- Find the latest on the CDC website as well as the website of your state health department.
- World Health Organization.
- U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Restart: Post COVID-19 Elective Surgery
Saint Michael’s Medical Center is set to resume elective surgery and invasive procedures beginning May 26.
This is welcome news to many of our patients who have been living in pain and enduring other discomforts while delaying much-needed medical attention.
With the lifting of the restrictions, please feel free to reach out to your physician to schedule face-to-face appointments and elective surgeries at the hospital.
Be assured that patient safety remains our number one priority, and we have worked hard to ensure that our patients, staff and physicians continue to feel safe in the hospital at all times.
Following are measures that have been put in place to ensure your comfort:
- All patients and visitors must pass through a hospital screening station upon entering the building, use hand sanitizer and wear a surgical mask while inside.
- Surgical patients will be given a COVID-19 test about 48-72 hours prior to their procedure. If positive, the surgery will be rescheduled to a later date. Patients must also wear a surgical mask at all times.
- Our hospital follows CDC protocols for cleaning and disinfecting all patient care and treatment areas. Rooms are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between patients.
- Our hospital continues to adhere to established protocols for PPE use to safeguard healthcare workers and patients from virus exposure.
- Surgical or medical patients are kept isolated on a separate floor, away from the dedicated COVID-19 unit. COVID-19 patients are quarantined in rooms and their caregivers follow the strictest precautions, using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Non-essential personnel and visitors are not permitted in the hospital. Outpatient surgical patients may have one adult visitor accompany them in the waiting room.
- A task force of physician leaders, executives and infection prevention specialists meets regularly to examine and review all safety and infection prevention strategies.
If you have any questions, please feel free to review our Frequently Asked Questions.