Citing a recent increase in cases of COVID-19 across the region, officials with Shore Medical Center in Somers Point will be instating a policy that prohibits most people from visiting the hospital.

A post on Facebook Tuesday morning said,

Recently, our hospital community and others throughout South Jersey have experienced an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Out of extreme caution, and to protect the health of our patients, their families, and our #ShoreHealthcareHeroes, we're implementing a NO VISITOR policy beginning Wednesday, Oct. 14 (6am) until further notice.

There are exceptions to that policy, including patients in hospice or end-of-life care, a one visitor/support person for maternity, and one visitor/support person for pediatric patients. Officials say visitors who meet these exceptions will be screened for symptoms before being allowed to visit.

Shore Medical Center's announcement comes on the same day that the State of New Jersey reported 993 new cases of COVID-19. Today marks the fourth time in six days the state has announced more than 800 cases, according to NJ.com. Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in New Jersey were above 600 for the seventh straight day.

During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Phil Murphy said, "Make no mistake, we are not out of the woods yet. We still have work to do to beat this virus."

A large percentage of recent positive COVID-19 cases have been reported from Ocean and Monmouth Counties. Locally, according to NJ.com, Atlantic County reported 40 new cases while Cape May County only had 2, compared to a total of 201 in Monmouth and Ocean.

Shore's policy prohibiting most visitors begins 6:00 Wednesday morning.

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