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Can I visit a nursing home or long-term care facility? What are the safety protocols?

Last Updated: 02/04/2022

Visitation must be allowed for all residents of nursing homes at all times.

Assisted living facilities, comprehensive personal care homes, dementia care homes, and residential health care facilities are required to return to pre-pandemic visitation hours.

Please check with a specific facility for visiting hours and policies.

VISITATION GUIDANCE FOR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES

Regardless of their vaccination status, everyone entering the facility must be logged and screened.

Visitors who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19, or currently meet the criteria for quarantine, should not enter the facility.

Visitors should wear face coverings or masks when around other residents or healthcare personnel, regardless of vaccination status.

Facilities must allow indoor visitation at all times and for all residents as permitted under the regulations. Facilities can no longer limit the frequency and length of visits for residents, the number of visitors, or require advance scheduling of visits.

Outdoor visitation is preferred when the resident and/or visitor are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Outdoor visits generally pose a lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow.

During indoor visitation, facilities should limit visitor movement in the facility. For example, visitors should not walk around different halls of the facility. Rather, they should go directly to the resident's room or designated visitation area.

If a resident's roommate is unvaccinated or immunocompromised (regardless of vaccination status), visits should not be conducted in the resident's room, if possible.

If the nursing home's county COVID-19 community level of transmission is substantial to high, all residents and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, should wear face coverings or masks and physically distance, at all times.

In areas of low to moderate transmission, the safest practice is for residents and visitors to wear face coverings or masks and physically distance, particularly if either of them is at increased risk for severe disease or are unvaccinated.

For more information, refer to the Department of Health's Executive Directive for the Resumption of Services in all Long-Term Care Facilities.

Residents or loved ones experiencing challenges in navigating the options for visitation at long-term care facilities can call the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 1-877-582-6992, or visit nj.gov/ooie to send an email or to file a complaint.

For the latest on outbreaks, the reopening status of facilities, and frequently asked questions, visit the NJ Department of Health's Long-Term Care Resource page.

Source: Department of Health's Executive Directive for the Resumption of Services in all Long-Term Care Facilities.