Senate Passes Gopal Bill Requiring an Isolation Prevention Project at Long-Term Care Facilities

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - This week, the Senate State Government passed Senator Vin Gopal’s  bill S2785 which requires the Department of Health to implement and oversee an Isolation Prevention Project in long-term care facilities that would be operable during public emergencies. 

At a minimum, the Isolation Prevention Project is to require each long-term care facility in the State to adopt and institute a written isolation prevention plan and have appropriate technology, staff, and other capabilities in place to prevent the facility’s residents from becoming isolated during public emergencies.

“The importance to be physically distant during this pandemic does not imply we need to be completely isolated from those we love,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch). “It is critically important that residents in long-term care facilities continue to engage in in-person contact and communication with other facility residents, family members, friends, and any other support systems they need during this public emergency.”

The bill states that if in-person contact and communication is physically impossible or is deemed to pose a danger to the facility’s residents because of certain factors or a disease outbreak, residents must adhere to proper social distancing guidelines, but proper technology will be in place to allow socializing in a safe manner. 

“I am very happy this legislation has been passed in the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today,” continued Gopal. “All of our residents should feel comfortable in their living arrangements, and should never be worried that they will be isolated from their support systems because of this public health crisis again.”