DOH Issues Directive Allowing Parents/Guardians Indoor Visitation At LTC Facilites

The New Jersey Department of Health issued a directive on Thursday that allows parents, guardians, family members, and support persons of pediatric developmentally and/or intellectually disabled children residing in long-term care facilities to visit them indoors.

The DOH’s directive provides guidance for how these visits must take place, including several measures to ensure the safety of the children. Facilities can only permit visits if there have no probable or confirmed coronavirus cases in the facility across a 28-day period.

Additionally, visitors will have to be screened for symptoms of Covid-19, including temperature checks and possible exposure to people infected with the coronavirus. The screenings must take place in a designated screening area that adheres to social distancing and infection control regulations. Visitors will also be required to wear masks, be educated on proper hand hygiene, and maintain social distancing while inside the facility.

Facilities must also designate a specific area for visitations to take place and written consent must be received from both the visitor and facility resident.

“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 Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli. “Reuniting families with their loves ones in these facilities is a critical step for the mental, physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of these residents.”

Each long-term care facility will set their own hours and days of visitation and will have control over the duration of visits.

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