By Anthony Covino
New Jerseyans can now visit family members indoors at nursing homes across the state as the numbers of cases and deaths in nursing facilities have plummeted as cases are rising rapidly everywhere else in the state, officials said Monday.
Visitors can see residents indoors regardless of either’s vaccination status under the new guidelines that were issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on March 10.
These new rules take effect immediately as all nursing homes confirm they can collect informed consent from residents and visitors, have a location designated for indoor visitation and have staff members and other measures to be put in places at least 72 hours before visitation begins.
Visitors can touch and hug nursing home residents. They also have to wear face masks. Indoor visitations can occur even at a facility that has an outbreak, as long as the outbreak is contained to a specific area, State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said.
There are three exceptions though:
- Unvaccinated residents can see visitors indoors only if their county has low to moderate COVID-19 activity and at least 70% residents in a facility are fully vaccinated. As of last week, most of New Jersey had a high level of activity, with only seven South Jersey counties under moderate status.
- Residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection cannot see visitors until they are deemed to be no longer infectious.
- Residents in quarantine, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, cannot have visitors until they are released from quarantine.
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There were 3,429 new positive COVID-19 cases in New Jersey, adding to a total of 872,429 positive cases in the state and 87,348 cases in Bergen County.
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*Numbers according to Google Statistics.
Photo courtesy of NJ.gov