Families decry restricted visits to those in long-term care

This story originally appeared on NJ Spotlight

The rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New Jersey is triggering a new round of safety restrictions. Hospitals in nine counties are bringing back limits on visitors, roughly three months after the rule was lifted. Patients will be allowed just one visitor who must remain masked and screened for symptoms of the virus.

Similar situations have been playing out at nursing homes around the state. Families with loved ones in long-term care centers reached out to NJ Spotlight News, frustrated over the Murphy administration’s March 2021 guidance reopening the facilities to visitors. They say vague language allows for loopholes that make for a patchwork of policies and loved ones being shut out.

Cecilia Candeloro of Union County, whose mother lives in a long-term care facility, has been battling to spend time with her mother. “The DOH guidelines aren’t just clear enough,” she said. “And everybody’s doing different things and even the administrator kept harping on each case is an individual case … Every single resident deserves to have their family here. So there shouldn’t be on an individual basis. It should be these are the rules, this is what we can visit. The visitation should be completely opened up.”

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