For the first time since its inception during last fall’s COVID-19 surge, a color-coded hospital visitation guide shows all regions of New Jersey are in level green, signaling a loosening of visitor restrictions.
The system, developed by the New Jersey Hospital Association and adopted by hospitals statewide, reflects trends in COVID activity, including new cases and hospitalizations — both of which are declining. Under level green, most patients may be allowed two visitors at a time, although additional restrictions may remain for patients with COVID or those who are immunocompromised.
“This is a very welcome milestone for patients and their loved ones,” NJHA CEO Cathy Bennett said. “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 Thursday 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 here.