All regions of New Jersey are in level green for visitations, meaning most patients may be allowed two visitors at a time, although additional restrictions may remain for patients with COVID-19 or those who are immunocompromised.
This is the first the state has gone back to such a level since the color-coded hospital guide was initiated last fall during COVID’s surge, the New Jersey Hospital Association announced on May 12.
The system, developed by the NJHA and adopted by hospitals statewide, reflects trends in COVID activity including new cases and hospitalizations–both of which are declining.
“This is a very welcome milestone for patients and their loved ones” said NJHA President and Chief Executive Officer Cathy Bennett. “The NJHA visitation color codes were established to protect patients, but we also know how important it is to have emotional support from family and friends. With the COVID trends moving in the right direction, we are able to welcome more visitors into our hospitals.”
Hospital visitation was suspended when COVID first arrived in New Jersey in March 2020. In November, the state’s hospitals adopted NJHA’s color-coded system which is built on data in four key areas: COVID-19 levels in the community; the level of hospitalized COVID-19 patients; staffing levels; and supplies of personal protective equipment. The visitation levels are reassessed weekly.
The new level green visitation will take effect May 13 and will continue unless the COVID data triggers a return to increased visitation limits. Under level green:
- 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.
New Jersey has been at level yellow for the past several weeks, which limits visitors to one at a time. Under level red, no visitors are allowed, with limited exceptions.
Patients and visitors are encouraged to confirm with their hospital any added screening or precautions in place to protect patients. More information on the visitation color codes is available from NJHA here.