The COVID-19 pandemic presents a public health challenge to our society that none of us have seen in our lifetimes. We must all take measures to reduce the spread of the virus that is highly contagious and causes severe disease in about 20% of those infected. We implore all persons to adhere to local, state, and federal guidelines to reduce the spread of the disease.
At Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, we have taken some drastic steps to reduce the risk of infection. We are limiting access to the hospital through several checkpoints where patients will be screened for risk factors and symptoms that could be related to COVID-19. We are taking the extraordinary step of banning all visitors from the institution to prevent transmission of the virus. This was already in place for most wards in the hospital but is being extended to Labor and Delivery as well as our NICU. We recognize the hardship that this rule may cause for our patients and their families but this is necessary to limit spread of this potentially fatal infection.
In the past few days, we have had several breaches in our protocols at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital on Labor and Delivery and we feel these steps are necessary to help combat spread of the virus. Some of these breaches have occurred because patients and their families have not been honest with our physicians and staff. We implore all patients to disclose all relevant information and answer all questions honestly for their own safety and the safety of others. This is not business as usual. We all need to work together to get through this public health crisis with as few casualties as possible.