(TRENTON) – Responding to a series of recommendations from Manatt Health aimed to improve the resiliency of long term care facilities in New Jersey amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Monmouth), chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, released the following statement:
“No one was prepared for a global pandemic of this magnitude. Long term care facilities were no exception. We are just beginning to understand how woefully underprepared our long term care system was, which contributed to the virus’ rapid and rampant spread among vulnerable residents and staff. My heart breaks for every lost life and grieving family. We cannot see this happen again.
“We aren’t yet sure if the worst of the pandemic is behind us, or if we will face greater challenges in the fall. We need to take timely and comprehensive action to ensure all long term care facilities, including those that serve those with intellectual and developmental disabilities or residents struggling with their mental health, are equipped to mitigate future outbreaks and keep residents and staff safe.
“The recommendations laid out in the Manatt report give us a launching pad to take action. These reforms are long overdue.”