Friday, October 23, 2020 3:37 PM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
RED BANK, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Phil Murphy has signed two bills that seek to address staffing shortages and residents' isolation at New Jersey's long-term care facilities. The bills signed Friday are an outgrowth of a consultant's report released in June that reviewed vulnerabilities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. One bill requires minimum staff-to-patient ratios. The other requires facilities to create policies to prevent social isolation of residents and enable better communication with loved ones. More than 7,000 people have died from COVID-19 in New Jersey's long-term care facilities, about half of the state's total deaths. Families of patients often were left scrambling for information about their loved ones for days or weeks.