NEW JERSY hospital temporarily diverted patients during power outage

NEW JERSY hospital temporarily diverted patients during power outage. A New Jersey hospital was forced to divert patients on Sunday after a downed electrical wire caused a power outage. RWJ University Hospital Rahway lost power for a little more than an hour, causing the facility to run off its generator while the issue was being fixed.

A hospital spokeswoman said the facility was on divert status — meaning new patients coming in were temporarily sent elsewhere — until about 3 p.m., saying the decision was out of an abundance of caution.

The power was restored and the hospital is now back to normal operations, the spokeswoman said.

PSE&G said an electrical wire on Lambert Street in Rahway came down around 11:15 a.m., causing outages to the hospital and an unknown number of other customers.

Workers repaired the downed wire around 12:45 p.m., as the hospital remained on divert for a couple of more hours.

Surf competition raises funds for cleaner waves (PHOTOS)

Under autumn blue skies and cooperating winds, surfers had 5-foot waves to ride Sunday at Clean Ocean Action’s 4th Annual Surf Open in Long Branch.

Surfers call the conditions Sunday at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park “chest to head high” and dozens of them battled each other for a good cause.

“‘Open’ in surf lingo is all ages and all skills levels,” said Mary-Beth Thompson Chief Operating Officer of Clean Ocean Action.

Nine different groups ranging from 7 to 8-year-old boys and girls, called “groms” to experienced 60-somethings competed, Thompson said.

First-time surfing contestant Connor Barkey started surfing last year and surfs for Lucky Dog Surfing and his high school Christian Brothers Academy.

Barkey surfs as often as he can, even being dropped off at 6 a.m. to surf before school, said his father Gene Barkey. Surfers sometimes call this “dawn patrol.”

“They were solid (waves,) and some good sets out there,” Barkey said. “I would do it again, definitely a good experience,” he added.

“The surf competition raises money and awareness for Clean Ocean action to protect the ocean and the waterways that lead to it,” Thompson said.

In 2020, approximately 4,000 volunteers turned out to clean New Jersey beaches, one of Clean Ocean Action’s events.

Fall beach sweeps start on Oct. 23 at more than 70 sites throughout the state and everyone is encouraged to turn out and help said Thompson.

“Clean Ocean Action is what we do, we clean the ocean and beaches,” added Thompson.

Mask mandates for two year olds?

Gov. Phil Murphy last week ordered those who work at child care centers be vaccinated or face mandatory regular testing, and that all workers, visitors and children two years and older mask up inside the centers.

He immediately faced criticism from his Republican gubernatorial rival Jack Ciattarelli, Republican lawmakers and even some who operate child care centers.

Despite the backlash, experts say it’s the right thing to do to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I get the frustration. I get the unhappiness. I’m tired of wearing the mask,” said Dr. Lawrence Kleinman, a pediatrician and a professor and vice-chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “But there are a lot of things I do that I don’t want to do because the consequences are meaningful.”

Kleinman said research he and others have done show it’s “a myth” young children are immune to the virus and won’t get sick — even if they develop serious illnesses at a lower rate than most other age groups.

“All these mitigation efforts are absolutely essential,” he said, drawing an analogy to Swiss cheese. Picture a slice of Swiss cheese and imagine the holes being an imperfection that lets something pass through the other side. Now picture several slices topped together, and several more. With enough layers, less passes through.

With COVID-19, the protections include masks, proper ventilation, social distancing, vaccines and other measures.. Not a single one will stop the spread, he said, but “by putting these layers together you get a safer space.” he said.

But opponents of the governor don’t agree.

“Does anyone really believe 2-year-olds are going to wear masks correctly? Is it possible we are doing more harm than good? Hey governor, when is enough, enough?” Ciattarelli said on social media.

State Sen. Michael Doherty, R-Warren, called it “child abuse,” and Sen. Kristen Corrado, R-Passaic, said it is “yet another sign that Governor Murphy is completely out of touch with the needs of children, parents, and child care providers.”

Lynette Galante, who owns Future Generation and heads a State Child Early Education Association, told NJ Spotlight News and NJPBS she’s expecting “huge backlash” from the order.

“Rather than teaching them and working with them on the important skills in life, they’re going to be worrying about have to readjust a mask,” she said.

Anabella Cunha told the news outlet she didn’t like the idea of her five-year-old son wearing a mask: “As far as the mask, my son has allergies. So, the fact that his nose will be running, the mask going to be wet, he’s going to have to constantly be changing it. It’s going to be uncomfortable.”

Murphy, meanwhile, has said requiring people as young as two to wear masks has given him “no joy.”

Health experts say in addition to being less safe, parents who balk at such measures could lose out on what they’re trying to get in the first place: child care.

“Whether it’s child care or just schools in general, there’s something about having kids in school full time that’s beneficial to their learning and social development. If we want this, then we want to keep transmissions low,” Stephanie Silvera, an epidemiologist and public health professor at Montclair State University, said.

“It’s interesting to me that what we say we want tends not to match up with people willing to do to get it,” she said. “If we want to keep our kids in school and make school a safe environment, one of the tools that we have is wearing a mask.”

Silvera and Kleinman both stress that children can get sick. And they can also spread the virus to others.

The number of children who tested positive in New Jersey since March 2020 is a fraction of other age groups, according to state data. Kids ages one to four years old accounted for 23,486 positive tests — or 2.4% — of the nearly one million PCR tests conducted since then.