Everyone who enters Saint Michael's Medical Center is screened with
a non-contact thermal scanning process.
NEWARK, NJ - Saint Michael’s Medical Center today announced that
it is reinstating patient visitation effective immediately in light of
the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases in New Jersey.
The hospital severely restricted visitors in March in an effort to protect
patients and staff from COVID-19 as the virus began spreading through
New Jersey. At the peak of the pandemic on April 14, more than 8,000 patients
were hospitalized in the state.
Since then, the number of new cases has dramatically declined along with
hospitalizations. As of July 6, 491 patients with COVID-19 were in New
“Our first priority is patient safety,” said Dr. Alan Sickles,
the chief operating officer of Saint Michaels. “With the declining
numbers of COVID-19 cases we are seeing across the state, we felt we could
safely reinstate visitation at this time.”
Visitors to Saint Michael’s must abide by the guidelines from the
New Jersey Department of Health, including:
- All visitors must be 18 years of age or older, except in rare exceptions
as determined by the facility.
- Adult Inpatient Acute Care Units: one visitor per patient at a time is
permitted between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
- Emergency Department: one visitor per patient is permitted at any time
for adult patients. Two parents or guardians are permitted at any time
where the patient is a minor.
- Behavioral Health Adult Units: no visitors permitted until further notice.
- Same day surgery or procedure patients may have one support person prior
to and after the procedure. The support person may remain with the patient
through the initial intake process and may rejoin the patient for the
- Outpatients may be accompanied by one adult. Visitors may wait for the
patient in the hospital or facility’s designated waiting area (subject
to physical space availability), while the patient is having his/her procedure.
- All visitors must pass through a hospital screening station upon entering
the building, use hand sanitizer and wear a surgical mask while inside
the facility. If a visitor presents with fever or symptoms, they will
not be allowed entry into the facility as recommended by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
Visitation for patients with confirmed COVID-19 will still be restricted
to extenuating circumstances only such as hospice or end of life.
Saint Michael’s requires that all physicians, employees, patients,
visitors, caregivers and contractors undergo non-contact thermal scanning
process upon entering the hospital. This measure is part of the hospital's
ongoing efforts to provide and maintain a safe environment. The hospital
also continues to ask screening questions of anyone entering its building.
Visitors and staff are required to wear a mask in common areas of the hospital.
"The safety of our staff and patients is paramount and thermal scanning
adds another layer of protection," said Nancy Bisco-Flora, the chief
nursing officer of Saint Michael’s "Non-contact thermal scanning
is a quick process and will be performed in addition to the COVID-19 healthcare
All visitors must perform hand hygiene before visiting a patient and 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 procedure or other procedures in which visitors are
usually asked to leave.
Saint Michael’s has developed policies and procedures to prioritize
and ensure the health and safety of all patients, visitors and staff in
preventing the spread of COVID-19. The hospital follows CDC protocols
for cleaning and disinfecting all patient care and treatment areas. Rooms
are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between patients.
Saint Michael’s, which is a member of Prime Healthcare, has been
awarded a grade of A in patient safety from the Leapfrog Group for the
last four consecutive periods and a Patient Safety Excellence Award from
Healthgrades for the last two years in a row.
Since May 27, Saint Michael’s has resumed patient care services to
continue to safely and reliably serve its surrounding communities and
provide care for all patients.
“Patients should no longer delay care which can put them at increased
health risks,” Bisco-Flora said. “Through a thoughtful and
structured approach and following adherence to all public health guidance
and regulatory policies, Saint Michael’s is able to meet the needs
of our patients.”