SUSEX COUNTY, NJ – In response to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases within Sussex County nursing homes, the state has agreed to deploy the New Jersey National Guard to assist nursing home staff with maintaining infection control protocols and other duties, according to Sussex County Board of Commissioner Anthony Fasano.
“The staff at these facilities have been particularly hard hit by the latest COVID variant,” Fasano said. “We believed it was prudent to get them the help they needed before there was a crisis.”
The guard is being deployed after a series of discussions between County Health Department officials, led by the Commissioners, with the State Health Department, and with nursing homes operators and their staff.
“The State agreed to deploy the National Guard and the nursing home operators agreed to take the offered assistance,” Fasano said, adding that he would like to thank all involved in the effort.
Commissioner Herb Yardley, a former County Health Department administrator, said that the county has been monitoring nursing homes within Sussex County closely since the carnage and death suffered during the pandemic’s first wave.
“We’re still looking for answers to why that happened and we want the public information we’ve requested through the OPRA process,” Yardley said. “But that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped working as closely as possible with State officials to address the ongoing pandemic.”
“The State is responsible to see that what happened in 2020 never happens again,” Commissioner Chris Carney said. “That’s why we keep a constant eye on those nursing homes within our county, and when we see a problem, we push the State to get residents the help they need to stay safe.”