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Access to Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark has been restricted to Central Avenue and the main entrance (pictured above), where visitors will be screened before being allowed into the hospital.

Saint Michael’s Medical Center has further restricted its visitor policy to protect patients and staff as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout New Jersey.

Effective today, visitors will be prohibited with limited exceptions: in situations of end-of-life care or if requested by the physician as essential in the delivery of care.

In these exceptional situations, visitors will be required to undergo screening regarding their health status and risk of exposure to coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Patients undergoing same day surgery at the hospital may bring one support person with them.

Though Saint Michael’s has not had any cases of COVID-19, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced the city has its first case and possibly a second one. New Jersey has 96 cases overall with 11 in Essex County. Two deaths related to the virus have been reported in New Jersey.

“With the increasing number of people in New Jersey testing positive for the virus, we feel this is the most prudent course of action to protect our patients and staff,” said Dr. Claudia Komer, a chief medical officer at Saint Michael’s. “Our highest priority is patient safety and we will adjust this policy as COVID-19 concerns change and as recommended by public health authorities.”

Last week, Saint Michael’s closed the entrances on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and its outpatient entrance. Visitors should enter the building at the main entrance or Central Avenue entrance. The Emergency Department entrance on Central Avenue remains open for patients seeking emergency care.

Phone and video calls to patients are welcomed and encouraged. Family members can also call 973-877-5000, and the operator will transfer the call to the patient.