Long-term Care Visitations in New Jersey to Begin on Father’s Day

It will be a happy Father’s Day for residents of nursing homes and their families as state officials announced visitations restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic can resume on June 21.

State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli announced at the state’s daily briefing June 19 that outdoor visitations with measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are now available to long-term care facilities, including assisted living residences, dementia care homes, pediatric transitional care homes and comprehensive personal care homes.

“We know it has been a long, hard three months for residents and their families, but we know we must be thorough and careful,” said Persichilli. “We know a virtual meeting can never replace a visitation face-to-face.”

Scheduling Visitations

Long-term care facilities can immediately start scheduling visitations but visits are not allowed until June 21. Operators are required to communicate their policies to residents, their families and staff members. 

If a resident is suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 or quartainted due to being exposed, they are not allowed to have visitors. Residents who have tested positive can have visitors if they have met the criteria for discontinuation of their isolation.

According to the guidelines being supplied by the Department of Health, reunions will be done outdoors in a designated space, with a staff member wearing a surgical mask remaining with the resident during the entire visit. Staff are not to transport residents though any space where COVID-19 positive or suspected positive patients are cohorted. 

Visitors Screened

A designated area to screen visitors must be established by facility operators. If a visitor has any coronavirus symptoms, the visitor is not allowed to visit the resident or enter the outdoor visiting area.

Among the rules visitors must adhere to during visitation include only two visitors at a time, maintaining social distancing of at least six feet and everyone wearing face coverings. Visitors are to stay within the outdoor reception area and are not permitted to use the restroom at the facilities.

Written Consent

Operators are to receive informed written consent from patients and their families that they are aware of the risks of potential COVID-19 exposure and will comply with all policies set by the facility during the visit. The form is to include a notification that visitors must agree to inform the facility if they test positive or have symptoms within 14 days of visiting.

Facilities are to submit their plan 24 hours before allowing visitors of their policy and that have sufficient staff and personal protection equipment to carry out the policy.

Daily Data

As of June 19, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 168,496 with 576 new cases and 37 new deaths, bringing that total to 12,835. 

Of the total deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,758, followed by Bergen at 1,691, Hudson with 1,261, Passaic at 1,013, Morris at 639, Sussex at 151 and Warren with 141. 

State Testing 

The daily rate of infections from those tested as of June 15 decreased to 2.5%. The state is no longer using serology tests as health officials explained those results show a past presence of the disease as well as a current one. By region, the north tested at 1.8%, the central at 2.1% and the south 4.7%. The rate of transmission was 0.70, with Gov. Phil Murphy noting all counties were either at or below 1.0. 

Officials reported 1,177 patients are hospitalized with coronavirus—which included 61 new hospitalizations—while 108 patients were discharged. The north tier had 493 patients hospitalized, the central 385 and the south 299.

The daily discharge and new hospitalizations by tier for June 19 was the north charting 31 hospitalizations and 55 discharges, the central having 20 hospitalizations and 29 discharges, and the south reporting 10 hospitalizations and 24 discharges.   

Of those hospitalized, 286 are in intensive care units and 231 on ventilators. There are currently 16 patients in field hospitals, with 491 treated overall. 

Bergen Tops County Count

Bergen has the most cumulative cases in the state with 18,967, followed by Hudson at 18,761, Essex at 18,533, Passaic at 16,725, Middlesex at 16,563, Union at 16,291, Ocean at 9,382, Monmouth at 8,876, Mercer at 7,463, Camden at 7,088, Morris at 6,679, Burlington at 4,981, Somerset at 4,796, Cumberland at 2,767, Atlantic at 2,619, Gloucester at 2,451, Warren at 1,209, Sussex at 1,176, Hunterdon at 1,050, Salem at 745 and Cape May at 681.

Another 693 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

Demographic Breakdown

The racial breakdown of the record deaths was 54% White, 20% Hispanic, 18% Black, 6% Asian and 2% another race. Murphy has noted the rates in the black and Hispanic communities are running about 50% more than their population in the state. 

In regards to the underlying disease of those who have passed, 56% had cardiovascular disease, 45% diabetes, 31% other chronic diseases, 18% neurological conditions, 17% lung diseases, 15% chronic renal disease, 10% cancer and 14% other. Persichilli has stated most cases have multiple underlying conditions which would push the percentage of 100%.

A census of ages for 9,941 confirmed deaths shows 47% of deaths are of those 80 year old and up, 33% in the range of 65-80, 16% between 50-65 and 4% under the age of 49. 

State officials are tracking cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children who in turn  test positive for COVID-19. No new cases were reported June 19, with the total remaining at 43 for children ranging in age from 1-18. All have tested positive for COVID-19 or have antibodies in their blood. Five are currently hospitalized. No deaths have been reported from the disease. 

Persichilli stated “Black and Hispanic children account for a disproportionately high number” on a national scale. While only a small sample, the racial breakdown in New Jersey was 36% Hispanic, 33% Black, 19% White, 8% Asian and 3% other.

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 555 long-term care facilities are reporting at least one case of COVID-19 and accounted for 35,66 of the cases, 116 new, broken down between 23,656 residents and 11,944 staff. The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, rising by 22 to 6,152 on June 19. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,377 residents deaths and 116 staff deaths. 

In a by-county breakdown:  

Bergen County

  • 63  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 3251 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1703 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 911  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 11  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Essex County

  • 46  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 2168 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 1019 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 565  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 19  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Morris County

  • 42  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1433 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 698 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 466  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 3  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Passaic County

  • 25  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 1258 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 762 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 376  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 15  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Hudson County 

  • 15  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 997 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 538 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 248  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 8  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Sussex County

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 258 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 145 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 107  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 4  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

Warren County 

  • 7  Facilities with Outbreaks
  • 407 Total Resident Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 135 Total Staff Cases at Long Term Care Facilities 
  • 117  Resident Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities
  • 1  Staff Deaths reported by Long Term Care Facilities

One comment

  1. Please many peoples asking about when do you go open all Adult Medical Day Care Centers, many peoples are frustrated staying in home ever for long period of times and the Governor Murphy dont mention nothing about this issue. Thank,you.

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