New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Administration’s Nursing Home COVID Policy Still a Recipe for Disaster

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Crest Pointe Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Point Pleasant Admitting New COVID Positive Patients After 19 Residents Died

Senator Joe Pennacchio continues to question the administration and State Department of Health’s policy toward admittance of new COVID patients at long-term nursing facilities. 

Senator Pennacchio questioned the Administration and State Department of Health’s policy for admitting new COVID patients to long-term nursing facilities. (SenateNJ.com)

The Senator’s office received an anonymous call from a resident’s loved one who heard that the center was still accepting new patients who are testing positive for COVID. Office staff confirmed with the nursing home’s admissions office that new patients testing positive for COVID are in fact being admitted.

The State’s current policy for requires nursing homes to have sufficient PPE and staffing to be allowed to admit COVID patients. The State also “wishes” to be notified if those facilities cannot manage the outbreak.

“Although the State has set up a number of dedicated COVID nursing centers, it is painfully obvious that after eight months, the number of facilities is inadequate to receive the increase in cases in this second wave,” said Senator Pennacchio.  

The Senator questions why prisoners are being released for fear of contracting COVID in a confined area while new cases of COVID are readily being admitted into facilities with a history of tragic outcomes. 

Although trying their best, Senator Pennacchio points out that nursing homes, unlike hospitals, do not have the same infection controls required to contain this type of virus.   

Pennacchio also questions whether state inspectors are inspecting the facilities to see if they are at optimum readiness to deal with the virus, unlike the springtime when they were held back.

The administration admits to 7,200 COVID deaths in long term nursing facilities.  Similar to the first wave, a recent article stated a large numbers of new COVID patients in New Jersey are again coming from long-term care facilities. 

“It seems that the State has learned nothing. The administration and the Senate Democrats who have fought the formation of a Senate Select Oversight Committee are responsible for these policies which make no sense and have produced heart wrenching results,” Pennacchio concluded.

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