HRH CEO: About 64% of people tested for COVID-19 in Secaucus have come back positive

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With hundreds of COVID-19 drive-through test results still pending, the first sample size of 178 shows that bout 64 percent of patients in Secaucus are testing positive, the head of the Hudson Regional Hospital said this morning.

Hudson Regional Hospital President and CEO Dr. Nizar Kifaieh said that not counting today, there have been 640 patients tested at their drive-through operation, located at 55 Meadowlands Parkway.

With test results typically taking three to five days, HRH has received 178 results back as of 11 a.m. or so this morning and 114 were positive – approximately 64 percent.

“Out of the 178 patients that were resulted, 114 were positive – that’s a rate of about 64 percent positive. Now we’re hearing rates around the state at around the state of about 30 percent. The reason why this rate is obviously higher is we are pre-screening patients patients prior to arrival,” Kifaieh said at a press conference.

“So the patients call in in advance, they get screened, if they meet the criteria for testing, we bring them in and we test them – so of course you’d expect the rate to be higher.”

Kifaieh continued that in the past week, 21 patients have been admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19 and six have since been moved to the ICU. He said that they have not had any coronavirus-related deaths as of Friday morning.

The testing is being offered in conjunction with the Hudson County government, and other county and municipal agencies are chipping in as well.

“We have 2,000 of these ready to go: whenever you’re ready, give me a call,” Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli said while holding up an N-95 mask.

While he stressed the need for volunteers, Kifaieh said that HRH currently has the staffing and equipment necessary to handle the expected surge in patients.

“It’s really tough to judge because a lot of the nearby hospitals are overcapacity, but we’re ready,” he explained.

Kifaieh did not have any updates regarding the pop-up hospital coming to the Meadowlands Exposition Center, also located in the Town of Secaucus, but said an upcoming meeting has with county officials has been scheduled to discuss that topic.

The update from Secaucus came just one hour after Jersey City officials opened two facilities for their first full day of testing.

At that presser, Fulop said while the Secaucus site is “well-intentioned,” it’s not easily accessible for many Jersey City residents who don’t drive and are weary to use public transportation with social distancing now the norm.