New Jersey hospitals increase visitation restrictions amid rise in COVID cases

Hospital officials are also concerned about flu cases which are up statewide compared to last year.
CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Hospitals in New Jersey are restricting visitors with limited exceptions to prevent more sickness from coming into the hospitals amid a COVID-19 surge.

Hospitals in all regions of New Jersey are now at 'Level Red,' the highest level of visitor restrictions, according to the New Jersey Hospital Association.

"It's a three-tier system: green, we're open for visitation. Yellow, there are some limitations but generally open. And when we're at the red level like we are today, that means that we're really restricting visitors," said Cathy Bennett, president, and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association.

It's something that hasn't happened in the Garden State since last winter.

"One of the first things it does is it limits the infection that comes into the walls. One of the things we really focus on is infection prevention and infection control," said Bennett.

There are exceptions to the no visitors policy, including end-of-life care, labor and delivery, and pediatric patients.

Hospital officials are also concerned about flu cases which are up statewide compared to last year.

At AtlantiCare's hospitals in Pomona and Atlantic City, officials say their COVID numbers are rising, and about 75% of their COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated.

Cooper University Health is one of the many systems experiencing a strain on testing and released a statement Thursday asking people to trust any positive at-home rapid test results:

"Due to the significant volume of people requesting COVID-19 tests, we are asking people who have tested positive using a home test to trust that result and isolate for five days as recommended by the CDC. Given the high number of actual positive COVID-19 cases in our region, you can trust your positive home test result and save yourself from waiting in long lines to be retested, allowing others to be tested."

In Delaware on Thursday, state officials called their hospital situation dire, saying some hospitals have had to stop elective procedures as COVID-19 cases surge.

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