It was announced Monday afternoon that the public schools are closed Tuesday.
Also, officials at Hoboken University Medical Center had decided to evacuate the hospital as of 5 p.m. yesterday after consultation with Hoboken Office of Emergency Management officers who expressed concern that a storm surge could breach the city’s seawall and tides could rise several feet in that town.
Paul A. Walker, CEO of Hoboken UMC, said that patient safety always is paramount, and although the risks of the hospital losing all power are small, all safety precautions must be taken. Mr. Walker stressed that no patients are in immediate danger and every effort will be made to minimize inconvenience to them and their families. The evacuation is being made only as a precaution, and patients will be able to return to Hoboken UMC as soon as storm dangers have declined to an acceptable level.
Hoboken University Medical Center will continue to have the emergency department open and available to residents as well as the operating room for emergencies and OBGYN services for emergency deliveries.
Patients were transferred to other facilities which have available beds for specific types of patients. Mickey McCabe, who is the County’s Emergency Medical Coordinator, oversaw the transfers and placements in cooperation with Dr. Angelo Caprio, Hoboken University Medical Center’s Emergency Management Coordinator.
Patients were triaged before transfer, with the most critical patients being evacuated the soonest and the least critical moved as of 4:20am Monday morning.
Hoboken UMC’s partner hospitals, Christ Hospital in Jersey City and Bayonne Medical Center in Bayonne, are expected to care for the largest numbers of transfers. Approximately 40 patients were transferred to Christ Hospital including 4 newborns and their mothers. Seventeen patients in total were transferred to Bayonne Medical Center and five of those seventeen were critical care patients. Medical and nursing staff members from Hoboken have volunteered to work at those hospitals to continue caring for their patients.
Because of the increase in patients at Christ Hospital and Bayonne Medical Center, both hospitals have taken additional precautions: Cleared all drains and secured all outdoor items, topped off fuel for generators, reviewed all vulnerable electronic equipment and implemented plans to protect that equipment, topped off all medical supplies, our command centers are set up and all systems have been tested, we have tested all power failure phones and updated phone list for phones, additional food was delivered on Monday. Christ Hospital and Bayonne Medical Center brought in additional staff to care for the increase in patients. In addition, there are visitor restrictions at Christ Hospital. Those restrictions allow visitors to the following areas: maternity, Pediatrics and critical care, no other visitors will be allowed to enter the hospital until Wednesday. Currently there are no visitor restrictions at Bayonne Medical Center but we advise visitors to call the hospital beforehand. In addition, both Bayonne Medical Center and Christ Hospital have cancelled all outpatient elective procedures until Wednesday.