STAFFORD - The Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin and other Hackensack Meridians hospitals have instituted a new no visitor policy.

The policy change comes as a result of the concern about the Coronavirus pandemic.  

The hospital website announced the “new visitor policy,” as follows:

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"The situation surrounding COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to evolve and changes occur rapidly. Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) is restricting visitation across all of its hospitals. This restriction takes effective Friday, March 13, 2020. Please know, the health and safety of our patients, their families, and team members remains a top priority for HMH."

There are visitation exceptions, which include: 

  • Hospice
  • Pediatric care
  • Ambulatory Care/Same day surgery (one visitor)
  • Maternity/Labor and delivery (one visitor)

Screenings for Vistors

Once a visitor is approved, they will undergo a temperature screening. They will need to provide their contact information in the event that tracing becomes necessary. Phone and video calls to patients are welcome and encouraged.

As a precautionary measure and to keep patients and team members safe, Hackensack Meridian is asking employess to self-monitor their temperature before they report to work.

"We take these proactive precautions to protect our patients, team members, and the communities we serve. We are sensitive to the separation this restriction causes our patients and their loved ones, but we believe this measure of protection is essential at this time to keep people safe."


The Hospital system is prepared to manage cases of COVID-19.  In fact, on Thursday the hospital reported that it has access to COVID-19 testing kits. This enables the hospital to have test results in four hours or less.  

Hackensack Meridian is also offering online visits for a limited time.  Patients can access the online care at  The cost is only $20 if patients use promo code HMH20.