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After 11 died at Wanaque nursing home, Murphy signs law to prevent future deadly outbreaks

Lindy Washburn  | August 15, 2019 | North Jersey Record |


Almost a year after a virus began to attack medically fragile children at a nursing home in Wanaque, causing 11 deaths, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law Thursday to prevent future outbreaks from such deadly consequences.

“We have not forgotten” the children who died, Murphy said. The law will “reduce the chances of a similar tragedy from ever happening again.”

The law requires nursing homes to have plans in advance to respond to a disease outbreak. The plans must address the sort of shortcomings that were identified last fall at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, where 36 children and a staff member were infected with adenovirus and 11 died.

Because of the law, nursing homes must be ready to isolate and separate sick and at-risk residents from those who are healthy, and to promptly notify residents, their families, staff and visitors of an outbreak, among other requirements.

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