New Jersey will allows outdoor visits at longterm care facilities

HAYWARD, CA - APRIL 08: A woman is seen on the patio of the Gateway Care and Rehabilitation Center in Hayward, Calif., on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Six patients there have died of Covid-19, and 59 cases have been reported. (Jane Tyska/Digital First M

Governor Phil Murphy on Friday announced that nursing homes and other long term care and assisted living facilities can arrange outdoor visits this weekend.

On Sunday, which Murphy pointed out is Father's Day, visitors can see loved ones in designated outdoor spaces at nursing homes, assisted living residences, dementia care homes, pediatric transitional care homes, and comprehensive personal care homes. 

During visits, masked staff members must be in attendance. Residents and family members are required to sign a consent form acknowledging that possible exposure to coronavirus can occur.

New Jersey, as well as neighboring states New York and Pennsylvania, have experienced a large number of coronavirus cases and related deaths at nursing homes and longterm care facilities.

In the Garden State, residents and staff at long-term care facilities alone have accounted for more than 35,500 of the state's 168,000-plus cases. Nearly half the state's deaths have come from these facilities.

The outbreak, which Murphy believes is now under control in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, required more than 100 service members from the National Guard to deploy to assist staff.

As a continued show of progress, the first-term democrat announced just 116 cases in long term care facilities on Thursday. The number of deaths tragically included 22 more residents, but the number of fatalities has also shown a decrease.


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