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Updated: Coronavirus Patients Bring RWJ–Somerset To Capacity

RWJ University Hospital – Somerset is currently at capacity and is not accepting new patients. (Photo: RWJ University Hospital.)

UPDATE: The hospital is only diverting critical care patients as of April 8, according to spokeswoman Kathleen Roberts.


Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – Somerset is at capacity and is no longer accepting new patients, a spokeswoman for the Somerville-based hospital said.

Hospital officials are also “concerned” about levels of supplies such as personal protection equipment, and whether they will have enough ventilators to treat their coronavirus patients, spokeswoman Kathleen Roberts said.

Coronavirus patients comprise about 70 percent of the hospital’s current adult patient load, she said.

Ambulance drivers are being told to take their patients to other facilities, Roberts said.

“We are currently on divert and have been for several days because we are at capacity,” she wrote in an email.

“Our total number of COVID-19 patients is continuing to rise,” she wrote. “Patients are presenting in a wide range of ages from teenagers to the
elderly.”

Roberts said that while the hospital’s supplies are currently “good,” officials there are “concerned about having enough PPE and ventilators for
the surge of patients we expect in the next few weeks.”

An order of 35,000 masks placed by the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management – a portion of which was earmarked for the hospital – was appropriated by the federal government on April 3, the day they were to be delivered. No explanation for the appropriation was given, county officials say.

Roberts said that the hospital’s Critical Care Unit and four impatient units are being used exclusively for coronavirus patients “to optimize
staff and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). A strict screening
process is in place for all patients, visitors and hospital staff.”

“Our team here at RWJUH Somerset is continuing to do an amazing
job under extraordinary circumstances,” Tony Cava, President and
Chief Executive Officer for RWJUH Somerset said in the email. “Their dedication to our patients and fellow staff is absolutely incredible. They are true heroes.”

As of April 7, Somerset County had 1,033 residents suffering from the coronavirus, with 40 deaths. In Franklin, 280 residents have tested positive for the virus, and eight deaths have been attributed to it.


Editor’s Note: We are currently surveying other area hospitals and will report their status when we receive it.

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