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Visitor Guideline Update

Visitor Guideline Update

Nov 20, 2020
Amy Mansue

Amy Mansue

President and CEO, Inspira Health

As COVID cases continue to surge across the nation and in our own backyard, I have some important information to share with you about a new visitor guideline policy.

Beginning on Nov. 26, we will join hospitals throughout the state as we adopt a new data-driven color code system visitation policy. I am grateful that the New Jersey Hospital Association and New Jersey hospitals created this important safety measure to protect you, our patients and our visitors.  

Our hospitals, along with the other hospitals in our region, will follow a regional visitation status announced each Thursday, based on the prior seven days. Each week, as a region, we will adjust our guidelines accordingly.

This information will be posted on our website and updated each week. 

The levels are:

Level Green, reflecting a lower level of COVID-19 risk, permits hospital visitors, with some limits. 

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

Level Yellow limits the number of allowed visitors to one at a time.

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

Under Level Red, no visitors are allowed, with limited exceptions.

  • Exceptions may apply to pediatrics, labor and delivery, end of life, and patients with intellectual, developmental, or other cognitive disabilities.
  • All exceptions must be approved by the care team.

As our New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said, “We must support the mental and emotional well-being of patients and their families during this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, but we must do so safely. This visitation policy strikes the right balance of allowing for safe visitation for patients who are not immune-compromised while restricting visits in areas of high community spread and limited PPE and staffing.”

I want to reinforce the need for these extra safety precautions by sharing the COVID-19 story of one of our own, Colleen Manning, R.N., B.S.N., clinical training manager for Inspira Medical Group. 

The date was March 21, less than a week since the first reported case of COVID-19 in her home county. It started with a single cough, an early departure from work (as a precaution), frequent temperature checks, and a late-night call to the Gloucester County Health Department. 

She went for a test the next morning. 
 
"By the time I got home from the test, I was convinced I had it,” recalled Manning. “I quarantined in my room, away from my family." Seven days later, a positive test result confirmed what she already knew. 
 
During those seven days, Manning became very sick. Headaches, body pain, dizziness and extreme fatigue and weakness kept her in bed. She couldn't stand long enough to brush her teeth, and she passed out at least two times that she was aware of. 
  
When Manning first returned to work, she could only tolerate half days. Even so, she considers herself fortunate that she never developed any serious respiratory symptoms or suffered any serious long-lasting effects. And her personal experience with the coronavirus has only strengthened her resolve to speak up for safety. 

“I have stopped someone in mid-sentence because they weren’t wearing their mask properly,” she said. “And I will continue to speak up because I feel so strongly about this. When we see something, we need to say something.”

It is a privilege and an honor to serve you and the South Jersey community. Until we may have the chance to meet, stay safe and be well.

Topics: COVID-19