The New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) in the US and hospitals in the state have created a standardised policy for visitation in response to increasing number of Covid-19 cases.

The new policy, which provides colour codes based on the level of virus risk, is built on data in four important areas.

These areas include Covid-19 levels in the community; the level of hospitalised patients with the disease; staffing levels; and supplies of personal protective equipment.

New Jersey Hospital’s policy is aimed at balancing the importance of visitation for patients with required safety precautions to protect patients, visitors and staff.

The Level Green code reflects a lower level of Covid-19 risk and permits hospital visitors, with some limits. Except for circumstances approved by the care team, no visitors will be allowed to meet patients.

Level Yellow limits the number of allowed visitors to one at a time, while under Level Red, no visitors are allowed, with limited exceptions.

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Exceptions, which may apply to paediatrics, labour and delivery, end of life, and patients with intellectual, among others, must be approved by the care team.

New Jersey Hospital Association president and CEO Cathy Bennett said: “Our hospitals recognise how difficult it is for patients when they are isolated from their families and support systems.

“Our goal with this colour-level visitation policy is to create transparency and consistency, using a data-driven formula that continues to put the safety of patients and staff first and foremost.”

Hospitals apply these colour levels based on region to provide greater consistency for patients and visitors.

Developed by a work group of hospital leaders, including chief medical officers, and endorsed by the NJHA Board of Trustees, the policy is voluntary and includes various uniform requirements for visitors.

Some of the requirements include, all visitors must be 18 years of age or older and wear the appropriate personal protective equipment.