Visitor Restrictions Tightened By Hackensack Meridian Hospitals

Source: New Jersey Patch Edison

Hackensack Meridian Health has again restricted visitation guidelines at its buildings, as COVID-19 cases increase once more in the Garden State.

All Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals are at a Risk Level Yellow as of April 21, the health system said. This means each inpatient admission may have one visitor, with some exceptions and requirements. The hospital requests visitors coordinate with the hospitals’ Office of Patient Experience.

“The safety and well-being of our patients, visitors and team members remains our highest priority,” the hospital said in a news release. “All of our facilities will practice a restricted visitation policy, in an effort to minimize the risk of spread of COVID-19 to our patients, visitors and team members. For any other question regarding visitation, please call your local Office of Patient Experience Office.”

New Jersey has not seen a surge in COVID hospitalizations since last winter’s omicron wave. But cases have risen recently increased throughout the Garden State, prompting some hospitals to return to certain visitor restrictions.

HMH has green, yellow, and red risk levels as developed by the New Jersey Hospital Association to help hospitals determine visitor restrictions during the pandemic.
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Visitors in HMH buildings must wear proper face masks and undergo symptom checks before they enter the hospital or site.

All North Jersey hospitals fall into the middle, “yellow” category, which prompts the NJHA to recommend the region’s hospitals impose the following rules:

– No visitors are allowed for COVID-19 patients, except for circumstances approved by staff.
– No visitors are allowed for those who are immunocompromised, except for circumstances approved by staff.
– Other types of patients may have one visitor at a time. They must follow requirements on masking, symptom screening and other precautions.

New Jersey’s COVID cases have steadily increased throughout April. The state averaged 2,135 infections per day in the past week. Three weeks before, the state’s seven-day average totaled 1,217 new cases per day.

But COVID hospitalizations — a lagging indicator that can follow an increase in cases — have remained steady. New Jersey hospitals had 6,089 COVID patients on Jan. 11, approaching a pandemic high. The state had only 334 at the end of March and now had 462 COVID patients in hospitals as of Sunday.

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