State issues guidance for families to visit loved ones in long-term care facilities this Thanksgiving

New Jersey state health officials want people to think twice before taking their loved ones out of long-term care facilities this Thanksgiving because of COVID-19 concerns.

News 12 Staff

Nov 18, 2020, 1:33 AM

Updated 1,305 days ago

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New Jersey state health officials want people to think twice before taking their loved ones out of long-term care facilities this Thanksgiving because of COVID-19 concerns.
“We are still very concerned about the outbreaks we are seeing in long-term care,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said.
Persichilli said that she would rather loved ones stay at the facilities this year, but has issued some guidance for people who will bring their loved ones home.
“If a resident lives in a private residence or room, the resident may quarantine in their private residence or room. If the resident has a roommate, the resident should be quarantined in a separate observation room for 14 days. If an observation room is not available in the facility, the facility must notify the family that the resident will not be permitted back until a room is available,” Persichilli said.
Camden County health officials are echoing the guidance. According to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, there are currently 15 active outbreaks at long-term care facilities in Camden County – with more than 200 residents infected with the virus.
“They are one of our most vulnerable populations, so to bring them out of the facility into your home with having cases so high in our communities is not a good idea,” says Dianna Deluca with the Camden County Health Department.
Deluca says that since March the department has been monitoring the facilities to make sure they have enough PPE and that they are following state COVID-19 protocols.
“They have to fill out three surveys daily. We get a copy of the survey responses, we get their line lists, so it’s constant monitoring,” she says.
The state encourages outdoor visits with loved ones and indoor ones where they are allowed. They are also encouraging these facilities to offer more virtual opportunities for residents to connect with their families.


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