Community Medical Center Temporarily Bans Visitors Again | #specialneeds | #kids


TOMS RIVER, NJ — Community Medical Center has banned visitors again as COVID-19 cases begin to rise significantly in the area.

The hospital announced the change in its visitor policy on its website. The policy change, which took effect on Monday, bars visitors in all but a few cases: special needs patients, minors, end-of-life situations and for maternity patients.

Community Medical Center is seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients. The hospital had 62 COVID-19 patients occupying beds for the week ending April 1, according to data supplied by the hospital to the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

The data, as reported by NPR, show 15 percent of the hospital’s adult beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, with 82 percent of the hospital’s overall adult beds occupied. In the intensive care unit, 39 percent of the beds are occupied, and 14 percent of ICU patients are ill with COVID-19. Having 15 percent of its beds occupied by COVID-19 patients puts a hospital under stress, the NPR report said.

The New York Times report on the data shows there were 30 ICU beds available as of Monday.

“(Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health) understands that a hospitalization can be a stressful and uncertain time for many,” the hospital’s website said. “The visitation policy reflects our commitment to addressing the needs of our patients while prioritizing the safety of all those who enter our facilities.”

“Our staff and physicians are here to support you and your loved ones and will take into consideration any requests that are made beyond the parameters of this policy in the best interest of the patient,” the hospital’s website said.

Here are the rules for the various areas of the hospital. There are some changes from the visitor ban that existed a year ago:

Inpatient Units: Visitors will not be allowed. Exceptions will be made for patients receiving compassionate end of life care, parents of minors and caregivers for those with special needs. Patients will be asked to provide contact information for a family member or friend who will receive updates on the patient’s care.

Maternity: 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 re-enter the unit.

In addition to a significant other/support person, a doula is also permitted throughout labor, delivery, and the entire postpartum hospital stay. The doula shall not count as the support person.

Emergency Department: Visitors will not be allowed. Upon arrival, patients seeking treatment in our Emergency Department will be asked to provide contact information for a family member or friend who will receive updates on the patient’s care.

Same Day Surgery, Testing & Procedure Patients: Visitors will not be allowed. Caregivers/support person will be permitted in the hospital to escort the patient to their appointment or procedure area and leave immediately after.

Exceptions will be made for parents of minors and caregivers for those with special needs. The caregiver/support person will receive a phone call to notify them when it is time to return and pick up the patient.

Community Medical Center is encouraging people to communicate with family members by phone calls, FaceTime, Skype and other means. The hospital has iPads for patients to use to connect with family as well.

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