In response to the steady increase in respiratory illness and COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state, RWJBarnabas Health announced Friday that it will implement masking protocols at all of its hospitals and facilities, starting Monday.
To reduce the risk of infection for caregivers, patients and staff, the following masking guidelines must be followed:
- Inpatients: All inpatients, who are able to, will be required to wear a face mask when leaving their room and can also choose to wear a mask at any time;
- Outpatients: Face masks must be worn at all times when at an RWJBarnabas Health facility;
- Staff: Face masks must be worn when providing direct care to patients at all RWJBarnabas Health locations. All staff can also choose to wear a mask at any time;
- Visitors, volunteers and vendors: Face masks must be worn at all times when in the presence of patients at all RWJBarnabas Health facilities.
In addition to wearing a mask and performing a COVID-19 risk assessment prior to visiting, all visitors must clean their hands before and after their visit and practice proper social distancing while in an RWJBarnabas Health facility.
While not mandatory, RWJBarnabas Health encourages all staff and patients 6 months or older to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends.
Need a booster?
To find and schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment near you visit, click here.
RWJBH officials note that evidence has proven that COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective way to protect ourselves from severe disease and hospitalization. It also reduces the chance you will pass the virus to someone else and lessens the risk of long COVID-19 in both adult and pediatric patients.
RWJBH officials also said visitors should defer their visitation to another day if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or another contagious respiratory illness, such as influenza or RSV, within the last 10 days — or if they have had contact with someone with a COVID-19 infection, or another contagious respiratory illness, in the last 10 days and cannot wear a mask.
RWJBH officials also said you should defer your visit if you have a fever or have felt feverish in the last 24 hours or are experiencing COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms.
Possible symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Fever or chills;
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
- Muscle or body aches;
- New loss of taste or smell;
- Congestion or runny nose;
- Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting;
- Cough or sore throat;
For updates on visitation policies and guidelines, click here.