What to Know
- State health officials say New Jersey families with loved ones in nursing homes can begin seeing one another again amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said Friday the reunions could begin to take place on Father’s Day. But facilities must adhere to several requirements.
- Starting Monday, personal care facilities in New Jersey will reopen with restrictions in place.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is reminding people to practice social distancing as they return to barbershops, salons, tattoo parlors, spas and other businesses months after the coronavirus forced the closure of the state's economy.
Family members can also see loved ones at a long-term care facilities, but they must stay outdoors and follow strict guidelines.
For several weeks now, Murphy has touted the decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in his state as allowing him to ease restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Personal care businesses like salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors and more are allowed to reopen from COVID-19-related closures on Monday.
Murphy said a lot of consideration has been made about the requirements for the businesses due to the sedentary nature of visits while inside.
"I know a lot of folks are looking forward to getting a bit of a trim, but let’s keep our common sense for the common good," the Democratic governor said Friday. "Wear your face covering, keep your social distances and wash your hands."
In the coming days and weeks, outdoor pools will open, indoor malls can reopen, summer camps can open and sports practices and competitions can resume as the state has entered Phase 2 of its reopening.
“Everybody has to approach this with a sense of responsibility, not just for themselves," Murphy said.
After months without face-to-face meetings with loved ones, starting Sunday, residents at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities will be able to meet loved ones with strict restrictions in place.
Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the facilities must adhere to several requirements. Those include that reunions must take place at designated outdoor areas, masked staff members must also be in attendance and residents and family must sign a consent form acknowledging that possible exposure to coronavirus can occur.
"We hope these outdoor visitations bring joy and comfort to residents and their loved ones while also protecting them," Persichilli said.
The state was a COVID-19 hot spot, with more than 168,000 positive cases and at least 12,835 deaths from COVID-19-related complications as of Friday. About half the deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities.
Murphy said that he expects the death toll to jump "significantly" next week due to previous deaths not counted before, but believed to be due to coronavirus-related complications, are added to the total.
As of Friday, there were a total of 1,177 people in hospitals across the state, down from a high in April approaching 9,000.
Murphy has continued to urge people to wear face coverings in public and stay at least 6 feet apart from one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"Even with the continuously dropping numbers of new cases, we still are a Top 5 state in terms of overall hospitalizations and deaths," Murphy noted.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness or death.