NEW JERSEY – At least six New Jersey hospitals have been on partial “divert” status as they deal with too many coronavirus cases and other issues amid the second-wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Divert” status usually means that hospitals send notice to incoming ambulances to bring patients to other local medical care facilities.
A hospital goes on diversion when there are not enough beds or staff available in the emergency room, or the hospital itself, to adequately care for patients.
Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, speaking during a Thursday news conference, said the rising coronavirus case counts is the biggest reason for the diversions. But she also said that at least one facility had a CT scanner that was not operating.
Persichilli said these hospitals have had to go on divert status:
- AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center
- East Orange General Hospital, East Orange
- Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, Willingboro
- Saint Michael’s Medical Center, Newark
- Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center, Plainsboro
- Virtua Voorhees – Voorhees
Persichilli made the statement as New Jersey had its third consecutive day of 3,000 new cases or more for the first time since April.
Gov. Phil Murphy said hospitals will likely to continue having issues as the second wave continues.
“The next three days are going to be tough, particularly on cases and on hospitalizations,” he said.
Persichilli said New Jersey has 1,827 people hospitalized, about five times more than two months ago. But it’s also far lower total than what New Jersey had at its peak during the spring, when there were more than 8,000 hospitalized.
Murphy asked people to patient for the next few months while New Jersey awaits word on the success of a vaccine being developed by Pfizer, which could be available by the spring.
“It’s not forever,” Murphy said. “This is not forever, but we are in throes of it right now. We’re still at war.”