Mar. 13, 2020: N.J. Hospitals Enact No-Visitor Policies to Protect Patients

Updated guidelines come as state sees community transmission of coronavirus

PRINCETON – With coronavirus case counts climbing, New Jersey hospitals and the New Jersey Hospital Association are moving to enact no-visitor policies to protect patients, visitors and staff. The move comes as state officials announced 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Jersey today, the fifth highest total in the country.

“With a growing number of cases and evidence of community transmission, the standard policy now bars visitors with some limited exceptions,” said NJHA President and CEO Cathy Bennett. “These updated guidelines are voluntary, but are informed by the support and feedback of hospital CEOs and more than 270 clinicians from hospital and post-acute facilities who joined NJHA on a conference call today.”

The standardized policy states:

  • No hospital visitors will be allowed until further notice.
  • Limited exceptions include:
    • Patients in hospice or end-of-life care
    • One visitor/support person for maternity patients
    • One visitor/support person for pediatric patients
    • One visitor/support person for an individual undergoing same-day surgery or an ambulatory procedure.
  • Visitors who meet these exceptions will be screened for symptoms before being allowed to visit.

These visitor precautions are becoming the standard across a growing number of healthcare facilities, including nursing homes and other post-acute care settings.

While sensitive to the difficulties facing the loved ones of hospitalized patients, Bennett said healthcare providers must keep patient and staff safety paramount at this unprecedented time.