New Jersey Doctor Contracts Coronavirus, Now In Critical Condition

A top official who heads emergency efforts at a hospital in New Jersey is in critical condition after contracting COVID-19. The case adds to the growing number of coronavirus infections across the state, which is now nearly 180.

Dr. James Pruden is under observation at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, where he also works as director of emergency preparedness. Officials said he gave permission to reveal his identity to help encourage residents to get tested, New York Post reported Monday

“He recognizes by sharing his name and condition it may encourage others to come forward and get tested,” St. Joseph’s Health President Kevin Slavin said at a press conference. “The point we want to make is we are all at risk of this.”

Pruden started to show symptoms of COVID-19 on March 1. The 70-year-old doctor from Teaneck was then hospitalized on March 6 due to upper respiratory problems and cold-like symptoms, according to

Pruden remains in critical condition. However, he appears stable in isolation, according to hospital spokeswoman Pamela Garretson.

Slavin said all hospital staff and patients who interacted or got close to Pruden have already been tested and none were infected. But the hospital encourages people who believe they were in contact with the doctor between March 1 and March 6 to contact healthcare providers to get checked for COVID-19.

COVID-19 Pandemic And Restrictions In New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy has decided to temporarily close all public schools, universities and certain types of businesses across the state. The decision comes after health authorities recorded 80 new COVID-19 cases in New Jersey in the past week, which increased the total number of infections to 178, CBS New York reported Monday.

Murphy also announced the third death linked to the novel coronavirus. He said the patient was a man in his 90s at Hackensack University Medical Center.

“This is not a time for selfishness. This is a time to think of those around you,” Murphy said. “There are some people out there who think this is fake news. This is not fake news. This is real.”

COVID-19 Hospital officials have confirmed that a top official who heads emergency preparedness at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson is in critical condition after contracting COVID-19. Pixabay