How NJ hospitals are preparing for coronavirus spread


    Source :

    Gown, mask, goggles, gloves — Ashley Blanchard, the infection prevention manager at Holy Name Medical Center, reviewed the steps for covering up with the protective gear that health care workers wear to avoid catching contagious illnesses from their patients.  

    Gown, gloves, goggles, mask — deposit in biohazard container and wash hands for 20 seconds. That’s how to take it off safely.  

    It’s a drill that’s becoming muscle memory for health care workers these days as hospitals and medical facilities prepare for the anticipated spread of the new coronavirus from China. Blanchard wants it to feel as routine for the Teaneck hospital’s staff as tying their shoes or fastening a seat belt. 

    Practice in donning and doffing personal protective equipment — or PPE, as it is called — has gained new urgency as the United States braces for a possible surge in infections. Health care workers are on the front lines.   

    “It’s not a question of ‘if’ anymore, but ‘when,’ ” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a press briefing Tuesday. “We expect to see community spread in the United States.”


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