Nursing homes in some N.J. counties can soon resume in-person visits

Close up hands of caregiver doctor helping old woman at clinic.

Close up hands of caregiver doctor helping older woman at clinic. (Rido81/BigStock)

Some long-term care facilities in New Jersey can now opt to resume in-person visits, state health officials said Wednesday.

Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli announced that visitation will only restart in counties with less serious coronavirus infection rates.

“This is good news,” she said. “We are seeing the outbreaks in our long-term care facilities decrease.”

Before they can restart indoor visits, long-term care facilities will have to inform the state that they meet staffing and cleanliness standards. Any places with any new “facility-onset” COVID-19 cases in the previous 14 days will not be permitted to resume indoor visits.

New Jersey’s long-term care sector was an infection hotspot early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus spread through the congregate settings and sickened the elderly and others with compromised immune systems.

According to the state’s online data dashboard, there have been more than 50,000 staff and resident coronavirus cases in New Jersey’s long-term care facilities, including nearly 8,000 deaths.

Physically-distanced, in-person visits will only be permitted in counties with “moderate” coronavirus activity, per the state’s index. Right now that is just seven counties: Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, Salem, Mercer, Hunterdon, and Somerset.

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