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COVID-19 Hospital Visitation Protocols Reviewed By Department of Health

New Jersey Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli recently clarified visitation rules for hospitals in the state in regards to the coronavirus.

Persichilli noted that while the department has provided the guideline to the 71 hospitals in New Jersey, the final decisions are to be made by the hospitals themselves.

All visitors must be 18 years of age or greater, except in exceptions determined by the medical facility. Visitors are limited to one person at a time, unless the patient is a minor, in which case the pediatric patient may have both parents or guardians, or at the facility’s discretion, a limited number of additional persons as determined to be appropriate.

PPE Required

Hospitals are to provide and visitors must wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE), as recommended by the Center for Disease and Control. Hospitals should provide instruction on how to appropriately wear these items. If a visitor refuses to wear a mask or other PPE, they will be asked to leave the facility. 

Symptom and temperature checks are mandated upon entering the facility, and anyone with symptoms will not be permitted to visit. All visitors must perform hand hygiene before visiting with the patient, either using sanitizer or washing of hands.

Once in the hospital, visitors should remain in the patient’s room, or the emergency department bay, as much as possible throughout the visit, except when directed by the hospital staff to leave during certain procedures.

Same-Day Surgeries

Same-day surgery or same-day procedure patients may have somebody with them, with the exception of labor and delivery, children, and patients with an intellectual developmental or cognitive disability. The support person may remain with the patient through the initial intake process and rejoin the patient for the discharge process. 

Outpatients may be accompanied by one adult. Visitors who accompany outpatients should wait for the patient in the hospital designated waiting area, if there is enough space to allow for social distancing. Visitors are allowed to use the cafeteria and other amenities available to patients or visitors.

Call Ahead

Individual hospitals will set their visiting hours and visitation duration. Before visiting, it is recommended to call ahead to find out the policies the hospital has established to ensure a smooth visit.

“All visitors must comply with all reasonable requirements imposed by the hospital to minimize the potential spread of infection,” said Persichilli. 

Daily Data

As of July 5, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 173,402 with 398 new cases and 23 new deaths, bringing that total to 13,355. The state is reporting an additional 1,856 deaths as probable, bringing the overall total to 15,211.

Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,799, followed by Bergen at 1,743, Hudson with 1,288, Passaic at 1,047, Morris at 659, Sussex at 156 and Warren with 150.

In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 263, Essex has 237, Hudson has 171, Passaic has 148, Morris has 146, Sussex has 37 and Warren has 11.

State Testing 

Officials reported 917 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus while 95 patients were discharged. The north tier had 406 patients hospitalized, the central 280 and the south 231.

Of those hospitalized, 210 are in intensive care units and 151 on ventilators. 

Bergen Tops County Count

Bergen County has the most cumulative cases in the state with 19,625, followed by Hudson at 18,976, Essex at 18,887, Passaic at 16,954, Middlesex at 16,913, Union at 16,445, Ocean at 9,706, Monmouth at 9,308, Mercer at 7,740, Camden at 7,479, Morris at 6,809, Burlington at 5,262, Somerset at 4,937, Cumberland at 3,017, Atlantic at 2,936, Gloucester at 2,645, Warren at 1,253, Sussex at 1,209, Hunterdon at 1,088, Salem at 802 and Cape May at 716.

Another 685 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

Demographic Breakdown

The racial breakdown of the record deaths was 54% White, 20% Hispanic, 18% Black, 6% Asian and 2% another race. Gov. Phil Murphy has noted the rates in the black and Hispanic communities are running about 50% more than their population in the state. 

In regards to the underlying disease of those who have passed, 56% had cardiovascular disease, 45% diabetes, 31% other chronic diseases, 18% neurological conditions, 17% lung diseases, 15% chronic renal disease, 10% cancer and 14% other. Persichilli has stated most cases have multiple underlying conditions which would push the percentage of 100%.

A census of ages for confirmed deaths shows 47% of deaths are of those 80 year old and up, 33% in the range of 65-80, 16% between 50-65 and 5% under the age of 49. 

Long-term Care Facilities

State statistics reported 557 long-term care facilities had at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 36,598 of the cases, broken down between 24,258 residents and 12,340 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 6,558 on July 5. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,554 residents deaths and 119 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County

  • 62  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 3307 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1740 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 927  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 11  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Essex County

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2204 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1059 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 568  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 20  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1420 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 720 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 478  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 3  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County

  • 25  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1298 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 754 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 389  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 15  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Hudson County 

  • 15  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1008 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 563 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 253  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 8  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Sussex County

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 260 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 151 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 109  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 4  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Warren County 

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 408 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 135 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 121  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 1  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

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