Recent Posts

COVID-19 Outbreak at Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead: 23 patients and 30 staff members

Updated at 2 pm on NOVEMBER 14, 2020


The Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 cases, consisting of 23 patients and 30 staff members testing positive.


"At this time, none of the individuals are believed to be Montgomery residents, and contact with residents and Carrier staff is infrequent," according to a special statement released by the Montgomery Health Department at 1:30 pm today.


News 12 broke the story on November 12, reporting on television that "Patients have been transferred to other Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals following the positive tests. Staff members are self-isolating for the next 10 days. All employees must undergo a screening before being allowed in the building. No in-person visits are allowed."


Hackensack Meridian released a statement, saying, “We continue to follow all rigorous protocols established by the CDC and the New Jersey Department of Health. Experts from the network's clinical teams and infectious disease teams are closely monitoring the situation."


Contact tracing is ongoing at this time, as well as intensive cleaning of all facilities and treatment areas.


It is unknown how News 12 obtained the COVID19 information on November 12, according to Montgomery Health Officer Stephanie D. Carey. Perhaps one of the patients or staff members from Carrier tipped the news organization.


The Montgomery Health department rushed a special message to the community on its website and via a Nixle alert on Saturday afternoon.


Montgomery’s Health Department had been investigating a small outbreak at Carrier. "We started getting test results late on Thursday," Carey said in a telephone interview with The Montgomery News on Saturday afternoon. The results showed 53 positive cases of COVID19.


"It went from a cluster to an outbreak," Carey said. The Montgomery Health Department had met virtually with Carrier leadership on Friday afternoon to assure they have implemented NJ Department of Health infection control protocols, and that Hackensack Meridian is providing the resources needed to stop this outbreak.

Montgomery Health Officer Carey released the following statement on Saturday afternoon: “This outbreak is worrisome, in a vulnerable population that has difficulty social distancing, but it is not surprising, as case rates are growing exponentially across New Jersey.”


When asked if Montgomery residents should take any special precautions, Carey said "Montgomery residents are absolutely at risk, but not because of the isolated incident at Carrier. Everybody has to do everything they can to protect themselves, their family, and their friends because the second wave of the virus is upon us."


The employees and patients who tested positive for COVID at Carrier are not "believed" to reside in Montgomery Township. "The staff members are scattered across Central New Jersey," Carey said. "I have not gone through the entire list of all the patients and staff. We believe they are not from Montgomery."


Carrier Clinic draws staff and patients from a wide geographic area.


Carey noted she is more worried about Thanksgiving, as far as spreading COVID is concerned. "People will come from various places and will expose family members and friends," she said.


Right now, there is a trend of COVID infecting younger people, she says. "While younger people tend to have milder cases, we don't know what it will do in their bodies. Some are dying. Some go on ventilators. Some develop blood clotting factors, strokes ... you can throw off clots for a couple of months after being infected."


Young people also transmit the virus to older, more at-risk individuals.


Montgomery Township latest COVID numbers from the Montgomery Health Department:


Montgomery has 20 active cases of COVID. There have been 259 positive cases in the township, and seven deaths (primarily at a retirement community, Stonebridge at Montgomery.) (Because the Carrier Clinic cases do not include residents, they are not included among the numbers regularly reported by Montgomery Township’s health department.)


Rocky Hill has one active case of COVID. There have been total of eight positive cases and no deaths.


Question: It appears people in the national news are getting sick from COVID, but are recovering. Is that correct?


"We are starting to see an uptick in hospitalizations and ambulance calls throughout the state," Carey responded. "Death is a lagging indicator. Check with me again in three or four weeks."








  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • RSS

The Montgomery News

The Carriage House, 88 Orchard Road, Skillman, NJ 08558

Office Phone:  (908)-874-0020

Email:  advertising@themontynews.com   billing@themontynews.com   editor@themontynews.com