Senior women and caregiver

New Jersey has passed a law requiring some long-term care facilities to provide the state’s Department of Health with their own outbreak response plan.

The law, which focuses on long-term care facilities treating ventilator-dependent residents, was passed after a viral outbreak killed 11 children last fall, reports McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. It will require outbreak response plans to include measures to help isolate and co-host infected patients or at-risk patients whenever a life-threatening, contagious disease is in outbreak until it is deemed to no longer be a threat. Facilities are required to notify residents, visitors, staff and the family of residents of an outbreak at the facility, as well as public health officials.

Long-term care providers must also meet staffing, training and facility requirements. McKnight’s reports that this could mean that long-term care providers will have to hire someone who is certified for his or her ability to handle such an outbreak.

Outbreaks of disease and virus are always a concern. A legionnaires’ disease outbreak occurred at an Atlanta hotel in late July, and a few other outbreaks arose in late May.