NJ Gov Sends Nat’l Guard To Long-Term Care Facilities: ‘Some Relief From The Bullpen’

ANDOVER, NJ - APRIL 16: Medical workers load a patient from Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center into an ambulance while wearing masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) on April 16, 2020 in Andover, New J... ANDOVER, NJ - APRIL 16: Medical workers load a patient from Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center into an ambulance while wearing masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) on April 16, 2020 in Andover, New Jersey. After an anonymous tip to police, 17 people were found dead at the long-term care facility, including two nurses, where at least 76 patients and 41 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 8, 2020 1:40 p.m.

New Jersey is sending dozens of national guardsmen to staff long-term health care facilities around the state, which have been severely impacted by COVID-19.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said Thursday that 120 guardsmen would perform non-clinical duties at the facilities, including janitorial duty, cooking, logistics and nurses aide work.

“The heroic front-line staffs at these facilities need some extra helping hands,” Murphy said at a press conference, adding that nurses and aides in the facilities needed “back up — some relief from the bullpen.”

In April, the state sent 75 medics from the New Jersey Army National Guard to veteran homes to make up for staffing shortages.

Nursing homes have been severely impacted by the novel coronavirus. Of New Jersey’s 8,801 total recorded deaths of COVID-19, 4,556 were reported by long-term care facilities, according to state data Friday.

State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said 22 guardsmen would be deployed to Andover Subacute and Rehab Center II, Politico reported — the same facility where police found 17 bodies last month in a morgue meant to hold just four.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services fined the Andover facility $220,000 on Thursday after an inspection discovered several violations including poor infection control practices.

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