NJ phasing in steps to allow indoor visits at long-term care facilities

Governor Phil Murphy announces extensive social distancing measures to mitigate further spread of COVID-19 on March 16, 2020, in Trenton.
Photo credit Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor's Office
By KYW Newsradio 1060

Persichilli said once facilities meet benchmarks that include having a coronavirus outbreak plan as well as sufficient PPE and staffing levels, indoor visits by a designated caregiver can be allowed. 

The first phase of the plan would allow one visit a week for no more than two hours.

“We recognize and appreciate that contact with family, friends and fellow residents is essential for the emotional well-being of nursing home residents,” Persichilli said.

Murphy said under the plan, $155 million in state and federal money would be used to boost pay for long-term care workers.

“With this funding we would be able to increase wages, specifically for certified nursing aides, while also ensuring that our facilities can continue to fully support their current staff and meet the more stringent criteria for reopening that are being put in place,” he said.

Murphy at his regular coronavirus briefing also threatened to close Jersey Shore bars, where crowds were seen waiting in long lines to get in.

“Standing around maskless in a crowd outside a bar is just as big a knucklehead move as standing around maskless inside one,” Murphy said. “If we have to shut places down to protect public health, then we will.”

Murphy also blasted President Trump’s executive order that would require states to kick in $100 of an extra $400 in weekly unemployment benefits.

“I cannot sit here right now and say New Jersey could afford to participate in this program,” the governor said.

What the state needs, he added, is congressional action providing direct cash.