Revised Visiting Hours at Morristown Medical Center as COVID-19 Cases Rise

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Morristown Medical Center

MORRISTOWN — As the number of positive cases in Morris County increases, Morristown Memorial Hospital has adjusted its visiting hours and procedures. Morris County has seen an increase of over 600 new positive cases within one week, with 229 cases reported in the past 24 hours. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Morris County had 11,018 cases; 703 confirmed deaths; and 146 probable deaths.

“For the safety and wellbeing of patients, visitors, support persons, and health care professionals, visitor restrictions are in place at our hospitals. This includes Chilton, Hackettstown, Newton, Overlook and Morristown medical centers, as well as Goryeb Children’s Hospital. The policy includes hospital visiting hours, restrictions, and COVID-19 safety measures along with special guidelines for maternity and certain neonatal and pediatric units.”

  • The adjusted visiting hours for Morristown Medical Center are between 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Hospital visitors will be required to complete temperature and symptom screening upon entering the facility, including a travel inquiry. If the visitor does not pass any element of the screening, they will not be permitted to visit. If they pass, they will be limited to visit non-COVID patients/units only.
  • All visitors arriving from states or countries under a travel advisory that requires a 14-day quarantine upon arrival to New Jersey, will not be permitted to enter any Atlantic Health System facility.
  • All visitors must be 18 years of age or older except for the rare exception as determined by the facility.
  • The hospital strongly recommends inpatients be limited to one healthy visitor per day. The healthy visitor can change day-to-day, unless:
    • The patient is a minor, in which case the pediatric patient may have both parents or guardians, or
    • At the facility’s discretion, a limited number of additional persons may be determined to be appropriate. Rare exceptions for unique circumstances will be made only after consultation and approval by the medical center nurse management team.
  • All visitors will be required to wear face coverings and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at all times. They may wear their own cloth mask, or a mask will be provided upon entry. A vented mask may only be worn with a surgical mask placed over it. Any visitor refusing to wear a mask or other PPE as indicated will be asked to leave the facility.
  • Pediatric Inpatient Units and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU):
    • The same two healthy parents, guardians, or caregivers who are identified by the family initially will be the only approved visitors. Rare exceptions for unique circumstances will be made only after consultation and approval by the medical center nurse manager or assistant nurse manager.
    • One parent or guardian is permitted to stay overnight (in addition to daytime visiting). A second parent or guardian can also be present from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    • Caregivers staying overnight must arrive by 8:00 p.m.
    • Visitors must remain in the patient’s room as much as possible.
    • Visitors must remain masked both in and outside of the patient’s room and when staff enters the room.
  • COVID-19 Travel Advisory for Pediatrics
    • If an inpatient minor’s parent is within the 14-day quarantine period and there is no option to have a lower-risk parent or guardian be present, then only one parent will be permitted to visit, and that parent must wear a mask whenever staff is present in the room. The parent will be asked to stay in the room for the duration of the hospitalization.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU):
    • During maternal hospitalization, two individuals given visitor wristbands (i.e., parents or caregivers) may visit their newborn infant in the NICU any time of day (24/7).
    • After maternal discharge from the hospital, the two individuals with visitor wristbands may visit separately between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. for the duration of the newborn hospitalization.
    • Two individuals with visitor wristbands may both come on the day of their infant’s discharge.
    • Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis (i.e. transfers from other hospitals whereby at the initial visit to the NICU both individuals with visitor wristbands will be permitted, parent conferences with the health care team, and day of infant surgery).
  • Maternity
    • One designated support person is permitted with a pregnant patient during labor, delivery, and the entire postpartum hospital stay.
    • The support person can be the patient’s spouse, partner, sibling, or another person that they choose.
    • A doula who is part of the patient’s care team is permitted and does not count as a support person.
  • Procedural Areas
    • To promote social distancing and keep everyone safe, one designated support person is permitted to accompany a patient having an ambulatory procedure.
    • We encourage all support people to drop their loved ones off and provide a contact phone number so that we can regularly communicate the status of the patient.
    • We will contact you with ample time to return and pick up your loved one.
    • We would be happy to provide you with a list of local restaurants and stores that you can visit during the procedure.

Once in the hospital or facility, visitors shall remain in the patient’s room (or emergency department bay) as much as possible throughout the visit, except when directed by hospital or facility staff to leave during aerosol-generating procedures or other procedures in which visitors are usually asked to leave. Visitors may use designated eating locations within the medical center and other amenities available to patients or visitors. 

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Frank Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019 both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany Foundation, Vice Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board and Co-Host of Focus on Business, Cable TV Business Show.