A sign of what happens when operators fail to be transparent with families.
New Jersey officials have begun identifying all of the state’s 575 nursing homes and assisted living facilities with coronavirus cases and deaths.
“Repeatedly, we have reinforced their obligation to inform residents, staff and families. However, we are still hearing concerns that that is not taking place,” State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “So, in the full interest of transparency, we are sharing the details.”
10,744 positive COVID-19 cases and 1,779 deaths have been reported at 425 facilities across the state – around 40% of New Jersey’s total coronavirus deaths.
The highest number of deaths reported at one facility is 39, followed by 31 at the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center in Andover.
As we covered yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced it will require nursing homes to report any COVID-19 cases directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – with fines for non-compliance.
However, New Jersey says it won’t stop staff from working across facilities – despite officials blaming this for the spread of the virus.
“There’s a reason why they’re working in several places. It’s because the wages are not enough to support what they need to do to support their families, put food on the table,” Ms Persichilli, herself a former nurse, said.
“What I’d rather do is take better care of them, making sure that they understand their own health and well-being and how that’s transferred to whatever patient they’re taking care of.”