Jack Ciattarelli, the presumptive Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey, today called upon the State Legislature to empanel an independent commission to investigate into the thousands of deaths in NJ nursing homes and long term care facilities that resulted from Governor Phil Murphy’s mandate that those facilities admit COVID-19 positive patients.
Ciattarelli suggested the commission be modeled after the 9/11 Commission which was chaired by former Governor Tom Kean.
Public health officials have repeatedly underscored the importance of protecting vulnerable nursing-home residents from the potentially deadly impacts of the coronavirus, given that nearly half of New Jersey’s confirmed COVID-19 fatalities involve long-term-care residents or staff.
The death rate from the coronavirus in New Jersey nursing homes is the country’s highest.
Nearly 6,700 nursing home residents have died in the pandemic and the numbers continue to climb as COVID-19 has run rampant in nursing homes.
This month, more than half of the COVID-19 deaths have been nursing home residents, according to the Department of Health, up from about 40% in the two months since NJ Advance Media published an investigation into the failures and missteps into the state’s response to the deadly pandemic. On Friday, 16 of the 20 deaths reported by the state were nursing home residents… Read the rest of this entry »
New Jersey health officials can’t say who are among the thousands of new positive COVID-19 cases reported daily — health care workers, grocery store clerks or people who violated social-distancing orders — but data shows that group living situations are responsible for significant proportions of cases and deaths to date. An analysis by NJ Spotlight of publicly available data from multiple state agencies found that more than 17% of the nearly 114,000 who have tested positive for the deadly virus since its outbreak in New Jersey March 4 are in such group settings as nursing homes, developmental centers and prisons. More than a third of the 6,442 confirmed deaths to date, or 2,253, are related to these facilities.
New Jersey’s battle to blunt the impact of COVID-19 is more complicated now that state officials have traced a half-dozen cases — including three deaths — to people in senior residences, facilities that shelter some of the most vulnerable citizens.
State officials announced the connection to elder-care facilities Thursday during their daily press briefing, which revealed an additional 318 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed overnight and four more deaths. Three of those fatalities involved residents at two nursing homes, in Essex and Hudson counties. (New Jersey now has 742 positive cases in all — ranging in age from three to 95 — nine of whom have died.)