Gottheimer continues to sound the alarm on dozens of North Jersey long-term care facilities in need of help to fight COVID-19
NEW JERSEY – U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Friday requested continued coordination, action, and resources from the State of New Jersey, FEMA, and the federal government to address COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities in North Jersey and to protect facilities’ residents and staff.
Gottheimer has been in regular touch with New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Commissioner Judith Persichilli. In response to the issues at the Andover Subacute Rehabilitation Center, Gottheimer urged NJDOH to assist dozens of other long-term care facilities facing critical shortages in the Fifth District.
Gottheimer has also asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deploy National Guard and Reserves to assist, and he requested that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deploy U.S. Public Health Service front-line health care workers.
“I have heard from forty-five long-term care facilities in Sussex, Warren, Bergen, and Passaic Counties that they are in critical need of these supplies, additional personnel, and other assistance as they work to contain the outbreaks of COVID-19 in their facilities. I have communicated with your staff about the specific locations and their PPE and staffing needs,” Gottheimer wrote in a letter today to NJDOH Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “It is a huge relief that the residents and staff at Andover will start to get the assistance that is so desperately needed there. I have also asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deploy National Guard and Reserves to assist and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide additional support in the form of PPE and staffing from the U.S. Public Health Service.”
“We will not beat this virus and flatten the curve if COVID-19 is able to continue to spread like wildfire in these long-term care facilities. Moreover, it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are adequately protected from contracting the virus,” Gottheimer said.
Gottheimer noted that he has received urgent requests from these North Jersey facilities for needs across the board, including front-line health care staffing, gowns, goggles, gloves, face shields, N95 face masks, thermometer covers, and disinfectant supplies.
Regarding the issues at the Andover Subacute Rehabilitation Center, Gottheimer highlighted the ongoing coordination since Saturday, April 11, 2020, between Governor Phil Murphy, NJDOH, county officials, and himself, to get additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect residents and staff at the facility. The NJDOH’s Communicable Disease Service, in coordination with the Sussex County Department of Health, has deployed a team to assist Andover facility’s residents and staff and to enforce necessary protocols and safety measures. The federal government has also deployed a team of surveyors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure the health and safety of residents at the facility, Gottheimer said.
Gottheimer on April 15 led a bipartisan group of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation to request that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deploy U.S. Public Health Service front-line health care workers to assist with critical staffing needs at long-term care facilities in New Jersey to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and to provide additional PPE resources from the Strategic National Stockpile for front-line workers in these long-term care facility settings.