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COVID-19 Patient & Visitor Information

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:

  • St. Mary's General is 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 the New Jersey Department of Health site.
  • At this time, there are no patient visitors allowed into St. Mary's General Hospital, in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Exceptions include:
    • Maternity patients are allowed one companion/visitor.
    • Pediatric patients are allowed one parent/guardian.
    • Visitors to patients at end of life will be allowed at the discretion of the care team.
  • Hospital entry points will be limited to to the Main Lobby. Any visitor who shows any signs of illness, including mild symptoms, and not seeking treatment, will not be permitted into the Hospital building.

For more information visit Patient Visitor Restrictions.

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:

Start Self-Check Assessment

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

Sites for outpatient testing for COVID-19 have been limited in our community to date, but new testing access and capabilities are becoming available each day. Community-based testing is now available at William Paterson University, Bergen County Community College and PNC Bank Arts Center, as well as other locations across the state. The NJDOH will provide updates for these centers and more here.

Remember, your first resource is your primary care doctor, who knows you best. Please contact your doctor if you have symptoms that would usually result in your making an appointment, including fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Can St. Mary's General test me for COVID-19?

It is important for members of our community to be aware that hospitals are not COVID-19 screening centers. St. Mary’s General, along with all hospitals, are for individuals experiencing serious health episodes. In regard to COVID-19, this would include trouble breathing or a consistent fever of over 101 degrees. Many infected with COVID-19 will display minimal symptoms, and will be able to recover comfortably at home. A general rule of thumb, whether or not you are experiencing any or mild symptoms, is to practice social distancing in public places at all times. The New Jersey Department of Health has a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-222-1222, where trained health care professionals are standing by to answer questions about COVID-19.

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.

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.

Where can I learn more?

The New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub provides New Jerseyans with the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the State's response, including information about services such as food assistance and small business assistance. If you are concerned about your personal health, please speak to your healthcare provider.

You can also find more information about the virus from these websites.