NEW JERSEY – The lack of access to full adult day care programs is taking a growing toll on thousands of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and today Senator Steve Oroho called on the Governor to authorize the reopening of facilities statewide, including congregate day programs.
“The young men and women who rely on these programs in their everyday lives have suffered greatly during the pandemic,” Oroho said. “The inability to participate in comfortable, calming activities and to interact daily with others in a productive environment has done unimaginable harm to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The sooner we can open these vital facilities, the better. I hope the Governor understands how important this is.”
The community-based programs give individuals the tools to learn new skills, build long-lasting friendships, and become caring, responsible adults.
Closed since the pandemic first struck more than a year ago, the centers could have opened again on March 29, 2021, if they met the congregate day program re-opening requirements and fell within the required categories of the NJ Department of Health’s COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI).
Programs are allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity in counties classified as low (green) or moderate (yellow) under the CALI index.
Currently, every county rates high risk (orange), and the state’s strict guidelines, all day programs must remain closed.
“There’s no reason these programs cannot be opened following responsible, safe guidelines,” Oroho said. “It is time to revise the reopening protocols and allow those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to return to the programs they depend on. Let’s restore the services that they have suffered without for the past year.”