What safety precautions are you taking to make sure the environment is safe and clean for me?
Your health and well-being are our very highest priorities. At Virtua Health, our infection prevention specialists are leaders in providing guidelines to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and we take infection prevention very seriously throughout our facilities. In addition, we have carefully planned and taken extra precautions to help ensure that we are doing everything we can to minimize any risk to our patients and staff members.
Our medical staff works closely with our infection control and clinical quality leaders to ensure we observe the highest levels of safety. We combine this knowledge with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Jersey Department of Health.
We have implemented the following safety guidelines:
We are testing and screening.
- Our pre-screening and COVID-19 testing measures are designed to identify anyone who has COVID-19 or is suspected to have COVID-19 before their arrival for a procedure or surgery.
- Patients may be instructed to self-quarantine at home prior to their invasive procedures, depending on vaccination status.
- Patients who are not vaccinated, or who have not provided proof of vaccination status, are tested for COVID-19 within 3 days of their procedures. If they test positive, the procedure will be rescheduled.
- All staff members and physicians self screen daily. They do not come to work if there is any sign of symptoms related to COVID-19.
- All patients are screened upon arrival, either at the building entrance or when entering the service area.
We require universal masking and wear appropriate protective equipment.
- All staff members and patients/care partners must wear masks in the facility.
- All surgical staff wear appropriate personal protective equipment during every procedure.
- Contactless check in measures are in place wherever possible so patients reduce contact with surfaces and staff at check in and check out.
We are extremely focused on keeping our facilities clean.
- Surfaces and equipment are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, using products that are effective against a range of germs including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
- We clean our waiting rooms and high-touch areas like rest rooms, elevators, door handles frequently.
- Our exam rooms and operating rooms are cleaned and disinfected frequently, including before and after each patient, according to the guidelines of our infection prevention experts and the CDC. Deep cleaning occurs every night.
- Hand sanitizer is always available.
- Our doctors, nurses and all medical staff members sanitize or wash their hands before and after interacting with patients.
We are minimizing the number of people at the facility and practicing social distancing.
- We are limiting the number of procedures we schedule to reduce the number of people in our facilities.
- Our waiting room chairs are spaced 6 feet apart, or restricted in some way to minimize close contact with others.
- The number of staff members in exam rooms and operating rooms is limited, and only those essential to your care are present. We maintain at least 6 feet between people except during medical care activities.
How is Virtua Health keeping its waiting rooms, exam rooms and equipment clean and allowing for social distancing?
We clean and disinfect our facilities and environmental surfaces frequently, and our exam and operating rooms after each patient. We follow the guidelines of our infection prevention experts and the CDC.
In our waiting rooms and throughout our facilities, we have decals on the floor indicating where you should stand to keep yourself distant from others. Wherever appropriate, chairs in our waiting rooms are separated to maintain proper social distancing, and/or we have limited the number of patients allowed in the waiting room.
What happens if a person with COVID- 19 needs emergency surgery?
We have a dedicated OR at each of our facilities for patients who have tested positive or have symptoms of COVID-19. Precautions include a separate area where patients are prepped and recover and even a separate elevator and pathway to their room to minimize any exposure. These areas, like all areas, are specially cleaned in between each case.
How does Virtua Health make sure nurses, doctors and staff members aren’t sick?
All colleagues at Virtua Health answer COVID-19 screening questions every day and attest that they do not have symptoms consistent with possible COVID-19 infection.
Anyone who reports symptoms is instructed to leave work immediately and report those symptoms to Virtua Health’s Occupational Health team so that they can be evaluated and tested for COVID-19 if needed. Staff are not allowed to work if they have symptoms, and they must be cleared by Occupational Health before returning to work.
What precautions should I take before my surgery or procedure to make sure I do not get COVID-19?
Instructions for Patients Undergoing Procedures at Virtua Hospitals
- You should plan to self-quarantine at home as instructed by your surgeon, prior to your procedure. If you have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination, or have not provided proof of vaccination status, you will be required to obtain a COVID-19 test 3 days prior to your procedure.
- Virtua will ask unvaccinated patients to quarantine at home for at least 3 days prior to their elective procedures. For most patients this quarantine will begin immediately after their COVID-19 testing, recognizing that patients may need to leave their homes to have other medical treatments, such as dialysis.
- Wear either a cloth or surgical mask when entering the hospital.
- Visitor restrictions may be in place at our hospitals. Please review our current visitor guidelines ahead of your visit.
- Bring with you, in writing, the name and telephone number of your ride home.
- You will be screened at the hospital for any of the following symptoms: temperature reaching 100 degrees, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, a new cough, sore throat, chills, muscle pains, or a new loss of taste or smell. Your procedure may need to be postponed if you have these symptoms. If you develop any of these symptoms while in your pre-procedure quarantine, please report them to your doctor.