NEW JERSEY – Some local hospitals have begun restricting visitors due to an increase in COVID-19 across the state.
Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Stafford have instituted new procedures.
“As a network, we anticipated another surge of COVID activity and developed a 30-chapter COVID playbook providing our teams with extensive direction on every aspect of patient care, including best practices on keeping everyone at our medical centers and facilities safe from infection,” said Dr. Kenneth N. Sable, Regional President, Hackensack Meridian Health, Southern Market. “This preparation includes stockpiling several months supply of PPE, expanded ICU capacities, rapid COVID testing, and better patient management strategies.”
Restrictions began on November 15 and were still in place as of press time. The restrictions are expected to be temporary.
They are explained in detail here: hackensackmeridianhealth.org/covid19/visitor-restrictions/ There are general changes for all buildings and specific ones for each medical facility. They involve number of visitors, and that visitors should wear masks and be symptom free. The rules are subject to change, so visiting this site is the best way to know for sure that you are seeing the most up-to-date information.
Some rules did not change, Sable said. For example, staff have been tested for the virus or antibodies on a regular basis. There are still temperature screening and other monitoring of people coming to the hospital. COVID-19 patients have a different area of treatment and pathways in the buildings than non-COVID-19 patients. Disinfecting, social distancing, and cleaning and sanitizing of all areas have continued to be done. Additionally, there have been “above and beyond” measures such as using ultra violet light cleaning and fogging and testing air, water and surfaces.
Other hospitals in the area are run by RWJBarnabas Health. A spokesperson there state that currently there are no visitor restrictions at Community Medical Center in Toms River, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood.