Visitation Resumes At Saint Barnabas Hospital: See The Rules

Eric Kiefer

LIVINGSTON, NJ — RWJBarnabas Health is opening its hospitals up to visitors again, including Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, due to a “steady decline” in the number of people infected with the coronavirus in New Jersey, administrators announced Monday.

Visitation for patients with confirmed COVID-19 will still be restricted to extenuating circumstances only such as hospice or end of life, administrators said. See the full set of guidelines here.

According to RWJBarnabas Health:

“All visitors must perform hand hygiene before visiting a patient and once in the hospital or facility, visitors shall remain in the patient’s room (or emergency department bay) as much as possible throughout the visit, except when directed by hospital or facility staff to leave during aerosol-generating procedure or other procedures in which visitors are usually asked to leave … Additionally, upon arrival all visitors will be provided with and must wear appropriate PPE as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visitors will need a procedure mask only unless an individual is permitted to visit a COVID-19 positive patient because of extenuating circumstances. In this situation, staff will direct the visitor on the appropriate PPE. At the time of entrance, all visitors will be provided instruction on how to wear face masks. If a visitor refuses to wear a mask or other PPE as indicated, that individual will be asked to leave the facility.”

Other rules include:

  • All visitors must be 18 years of age or older, except in rare exceptions as determined by the facility.
  • Adult Inpatient Acute Care Units: one person per patient at a time is permitted between the hours of 12 and 8 p.m.
  • Pediatric Units: two parents or guardians are permitted at any time where the patient is a minor.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Units: two parents/support persons are permitted at any time.
  • Maternity and Labor & Delivery units: one significant other/support person is permitted. Once in the labor and delivery unit, the designated support person must have extremely limited access to the other areas of the hospital and will not be permitted to leave and reenter the unit.
  • Emergency Department: one visitor per patient is permitted at any time for adult patients. Two parents or guardians are permitted at any time where the patient is a minor.
  • Behavioral Health Adult Units: no visitors permitted until further notice.
  • Pediatric Psychiatric Patients: only one parent/guardian is permitted if/when a mutual agreement between the care team and the parents/guardian has been reached.
  • Visitors may not be present during procedures or in the recovery room, except for pediatrics, childbirth, and patients with an intellectual, developmental or other cognitive disability.
  • Same-day surgery or procedure patients, except for pediatrics, and patients with an intellectual, developmental, or other cognitive disability, may have one support person prior to and after the procedure. The support person may remain with the patient through the initial intake process and may rejoin the patient for the discharge process.
  • Outpatients may be accompanied by one adult. Visitors may wait for the patient in the hospital or facility’s designated waiting area (subject to physical space availability), while the patient is having his/her procedure.
  • All visitors must undergo symptom and temperature checks upon entering any of our facilities. If they present with fever or symptoms, they will not be allowed entry into the facility as recommended by the CDC.

“RWJBarnabas Health has developed policies and procedures to prioritize and ensure the health and safety of all patients, visitors and staff in preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said John Bonamo, an administrator with RWJBarnabas Health.

“One of the most important safeguards established to achieve this goal has been restricting visitation in our facilities,” Bonamo said. “However, we recognize the vital role that family members and loved ones have in the healing and well-being of our patients and with declining numbers in the state we are happy to announce that visitors will be permitted again.”

Send local news tips and correction requests to eric.kiefer@patch.com

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This article originally appeared on the Livingston Patch