Atlantic Heath System implements new visitation guidelines
NEW JERSEY – For the safety and wellbeing of patients, visitors, support persons and health care professionals, Atlantic Health System on Dec. 27 has implemented the following visitor restrictions for Chilton, Hackettstown, Newton, Overlook and Morristown medical centers, as well as Goryeb Children’s Hospital.
“No visitors are permitted for confirmed COVID-19 patients or persons under investigation for COVID-19, except in cases approved by the care team. All restrictions are subject to change based upon guidance from our care teams, the New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Hospital Association,” hospital officials said.
Visiting hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., but may vary by location or department. All visitors must be 18 years of age or older except in rare exception as determined by the facility. Virtual visitation may also be available, ask their care team for assistance.
General Guidelines for Visitors and Support Persons:
- All visitors/support persons will be screened to determine if they have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days, have a pending COVID-19 test or have someone within their household who tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
- Hospital visitors/support persons will be required to complete temperature and symptom screening upon entering the facility. If the individual does not pass any element of the screening, they will not be permitted to visit. If they pass, they will be limited to visit non-COVID patients/units only.
- All visitors/support persons must be 18 years of age or older except for the rare exception as determined by the facility.
- All visitors/support persons will be required to wear a face mask and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at all times. They may wear their own cloth mask, or a mask will be provided upon entry. Bandanas, gaiters and vented masks are not permitted. Those wearing vented masks will be provided a surgical mask to wear over it. Visitors will be provided instructions on how to wear masks and appropriate PPE. Anyone refusing to wear a mask or other PPE as indicated will be asked to leave the facility.
- Visitors/support persons are asked to remain in the patient’s room or emergency department bay unless otherwise directed by an Atlantic Health System team member. Visitors may use designated eating locations within the medical center and other amenities available to patients or visitors.
If social distancing can be maintained, visitors or support persons will be permitted with the following:
- Visitation is currently suspended. Any exceptions require administrative approval.
- For patients in end-of-life care:
- Two visitors are permitted with administrative approval.
- Visitors may change throughout the day.
- Visitors are not permitted with confirmed COVID-19 patients or persons under investigation for COVID-19, except in cases approved by the physician or care team.
Behavioral Health Patients:
- Permission may be requested for one visitor during the patient’s stay. Visiting hours are between 6:00pm and 8:00pm.
- Approval to visit must be given in advance of the visit by the physician or care team.
Emergency Department Patients:
- One support person will be allowed to accompany an adult patient during the initial assessment period to answer questions and provide information to our care team. The support person may be asked to leave once the information is provided.
- In cases where the patient is cognitively impaired, one support person is permitted. The support person must remain the same for the duration of the visit.
- One parent or designated caregiver of a pediatric patient will be allowed. The support person must remain the same for the duration of the visit.
- Parents who are COVID-19 positive must be asymptomatic to remain with their child. The parent should always wear two hospital issued surgical masks and remain in the patient’s room.
- No visitors are permitted, except in the cases below:
- One parent or one guardian of pediatric patients is permitted for the duration of the child’s stay.
- One visitor, who must be the same person, is permitted for patients receiving end-of-life care.
- Additional exceptions may apply to pediatrics, labor and delivery, end of life, and patients with intellectual, developmental or cognitive impairment including dementia, communication barriers or behavioral concerns. These require approval by the physician or care team.
Maternity Care Patients:
- One designated support person is permitted during labor and delivery. This person will be given a special wrist band and may remain with the mother throughout her stay.
- One certified doula will be allowed during labor and delivery. This must be the same doula for the duration of the mother’s stay.
Surgery or Procedure Patients:
- If social distancing of six feet can be accomplished, one support person may accompany a patient to answer questions and provide information to our care team. Once the patient is taken to prepare for their procedure, the support person must leave the facility for the duration of the procedure.
- The support person should provide a contact phone number so that the care team can regularly communicate the status of the patient and contact them with ample time to return for pickup.
- If social distancing can be achieved, the same support person may join the patient in recovery and be present to review discharge instructions.
- One parent or designated caregiver may remain with the child throughout the duration of the pediatric and PICU inpatient hospital stay.
- The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) permits two visitors during visiting hours (8:00am – 10:00pm). Those parents/caregivers will receive special wristbands and must be the same people throughout the patient’s stay.
- Other exceptions, including end-of-life care visitation require approval by the care team.
Support Person During Hospital Discharge:
- To support our patients and their caregivers, a support person may be present to review discharge instructions and education as long as social distancing can be achieved.
Exceptions may be made for patients receiving compassionate end-of-life care, pediatric patients, and caregivers for patients with special needs, which may include intellectual, developmental or cognitive impairment including dementia, communication barriers or behavioral concerns. Patients will be asked to provide contact information for a family member or support person who will receive updates on their care.
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