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Posted Friday, July 17th, 2020

Visits by Appointment Only

The New Jersey Department of Health has released a directive that permits parents, a family member, legal guardians and support persons of pediatric, developmentally disabled and intellectually disabled residents of long-term care facilities in Morris County and across the state to arrange for by-appointment indoor visits with loved ones.

The directive outlines guidance to safeguards the health of these vulnerable individuals.COVID-19: State Directive to Allow Parents/Guardians Indoor Visits at Long-Term Care Facilities

Facilities can only allow visits if there has been no new probable or confirmed coronavirus cases recorded across a 28-day period, which is two incubation periods for COVID-19.

Visitors must be screened for symptoms in a designated area that maintains social distancing and infection control standards. If an individual has any COVID-19 symptoms or possible exposure, they will not be permitted to visit.

All visitors will be required to wear a face covering, be educated on proper hand hygiene, and practice social distancing with anyone other than their loved one.

Facilities must designate a specific area for visitationy. When staff are transporting a resident to a designated visitation area, a safe distance of six feet distance must be maintained between other residents and staff.

Facilities must obtain informed written consent from residents and visitors. They must acknowledge they are aware of potential dangers of COVID-19 exposure and will comply with the facility’s policies during the visit.  As part of the consent, the visitor must agree to notify the facility if they tested positive for the virus or have symptoms within 14 days of visiting.

Each long-term care facility will set hours, days and durations of visits.  Facilities can begin scheduling indoor visit 48 hours after they have submitted an attestation to the Department that they have implemented the requirements of the Department’s directive.

“I understand how stressful and heartbreaking it has been for so many families not to be able to visit their loved ones in person for more than three months now,” said state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Reuniting families with their loved ones in these facilities is a critical step for the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of these residents.”