NEW JERSEY -- Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Wednesday that the state needs to "directly and aggressively confront the challenge" of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.

“The sad fact is that eldercare is a national problem and, too often, a national failure. During this crisis we have seen that in state after state, seniors and those who work with them in long-term care facilities made up a disproportionate number of the positive cases and tragically the losses,” said Murphy, who has come under fire from critics who say he did not do enough to stop the spread of the coronavirus among the elderly.

Announcing that he wants to make New Jersey a national leader and national model, the governor listed recommendations, devised by Manatt Health, a company of 160+ attorneys and consultants in the healthcare industry. Manatt advises the following actions to improve New Jersey’s long-term care facilities:

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  • Strengthening Emergency Response Capacity by strengthening the ability to plan, coordinate, and execute effective responses to potential surges.
  • Stabilizing Facilities and Bolstering Workforce by increasing wages, strengthening staffing ratios, and providing training and career development opportunities.
  • Increasing Transparency and Accountability by implementing stronger mechanisms to ensure a greater degree of accountability, and increasing transparency through data and reporting.
  • Building a More Resilient and Higher Quality System

“The solutions recommended by the Manatt team provide a comprehensive and systemic approach to ensuring the safety of the residents and staff of New Jersey’s long-term care facilities," he continued. "My Administration looks forward to implementing Manatt’s recommendations to mitigate and protect one of our most vulnerable populations from future outbreaks.”

“Long-term care facilities have been at the epicenter of this pandemic,” said Carol Raphael, special advisor with Manatt Health. “It’s never been more important to ensure the safety of all residents, workers and their families. Equally important is the opportunity to learn from the collective experiences of the past few months to ensure we can make meaningful, lasting changes that transform care and elevate quality well into the future.”   

Download Manatt Health's full report here.