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Downey Praises DOH Plans for Expanded COVID-19 Testing in Long Term Care Facilities

(TRENTON) – In response to an announcement by the Department of Health that all long term care facilities in New Jersey will be required to test residents and staff for COVID-19 and develop future retesting plans, Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Monmouth), chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, released the following statement:

“We know COVID-19 spreads rapidly in congregate living settings. Once it enters a facility like a nursing home or veterans home, it can be very difficult to contain. That’s why testing is among the most effective tools in our arsenal as we work to combat the spread of COVID-19. Widespread testing allows us to get a clearer picture of who is infected, symptomatic or not, and take steps to control the spread. As growing evidence suggests asymptomatic people may unknowingly be carriers of COVID-19, this is even more critical.

“By testing and retesting all staff and residents in long term care facilities, we will be able to help slow the spread of the virus and hopefully save lives. Going forward, we need to ensure all of our most vulnerable populations are tested, including individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities.”