Doctor at St. Joseph’s Medical Center tests positive for coronavirus

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The medical director of emergency preparedness at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson has tested positive for the coronavirus COVID-19, according to the hospital president Kevin Slavin.

Slavin says that 70-year-old Dr. James Pruden is in critical but stable condition after contracting the virus.

"Jim is a long-time beloved member of our medical staff and revered member of the Paterson community. He's also a leader in EMS and emergency preparedness response at the state and national level,” Slavin says.

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Slavin says that Dr. Pruden started to develop cold-like symptoms, including upper respiratory issues on March 1. He was admitted to the hospital on March 6 and is currently in isolation.

"Jim was willing to let us identify him today because he recognizes by sharing his name and condition, it may encourage others to come forward and get tested. The point we want to make is we are all at risk for this,” Slavin says.

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The hospital president says that currently, no other hospital staff members or patients of Dr. Pruden have tested positive for the virus. The doctor has been on the front-lines not just with the coronavirus but at other moments of national crisis.

"He was a first responder at 9/11 and traveled to Houston, Texas to assist in recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey,” says Slavin.

Gov. Phil Murphy offered his praises.

"He's one of the really good guys and one of the best professionals in the state,” Murphy said.

Anyone who thinks that they encountered Dr. Pruden between March 1 and 6 is asked to call their doctor or local health department.


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