Today, the New Jersey Department of Health is releasing guidance that will allow in-person visits for long-term-care residents regardless of vaccination status where COVID-19 activity is lowest.
“Our long-term-care facilities should be working with families to allow for in-person visitation with their loved ones,” Gov. Phil Murphy said at today’s COVID-19 press briefing.
Under this new guidance, long term-care-centers in regions with a low or moderate COVID-19 activity level index, should be allowing for direct in-person visits for residents regardless of vaccination status.
In regions where the COVID-19 activity index is high, and less than 70% of the facilities residents have been vaccinated, only those residents who have been fully vaccinated should be receiving visitors indoors. Outdoor visitation will continue to be allowed.
The visitation options for essential caregivers, compassionate care and outdoor visits will also continue to be available. In all cases, residents and visitors must wear facemasks.
In total, 3.5 million New Jerseyans have now been vaccinated, though the virus is continuing to make its presence felt despite the progress.
“The mere presence of vaccines does not mean we are out of the woods,” Murphy said, adding that New Jersey had an additional 3,305 cumulative positive PCR and presumed positive rapid tests over the past 24 hours. The state’s rate of transmission now sits at 1.09, a number that officials said they expect to increase.
“We are back to leading the nation in the spread of this virus,” Murphy said. “Please remember, even if you are vaccinated, the vaccine only protects you from developing severe COVID-19, it does not make you bulletproof. And you are still capable of spreading the virus to those around you who haven’t been vaccinated.”
PPE Access Program Deadline Extended to May 28
Separately, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today announced that the deadline for the New Jersey Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program will be extended until May 28, or until program funds are exhausted. The program allows New Jersey businesses with 100 or fewer full-time equivalent employees to receive discounts of nearly 70% off purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Small businesses and organizations interested in receiving these discounts must apply at https://ppe.covid19.nj.gov. Businesses that have already been approved do not need to reapply, but any discounts they have used previously will be counted toward the total program cap.
Additional discounts of 65% are available to businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees that make purchases from Staples or Office Depot. These discounts are available in addition to the 10% discounts available to all businesses, so businesses are able to receive nearly 70% off PPE purchases. Expanded discounts are capped at $800 for all eligible businesses or $1,000 for businesses located in one of New Jersey’s 715 census tracts that were eligible to be designated as Opportunity Zones. To date, more than 10,000 businesses have been approved for more than $9 million in discounts.
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