RELEASE: Booker, Gottheimer Announce Bicameral Legislation to Protect Seniors in Long-Term Care Facilities from COVID-19

Oct 23, 2020
Press

Ensures COVID Crisis Plans and PPE Stockpiles for Nursing Homes Increases Transparency for Residents and their Families on Infections in Facilities

NORTH JERSEY — On Friday, October 23, 2020, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (NJ) and U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced bicameral legislation — the Nursing Home Pandemic Protection Act of 2020 — to require that nursing homes have a crisis plan in place to manage an outbreak, that facilities keep a stockpile of PPE on hand, that nursing homes report communicable diseases, infections, and potential outbreaks, and work to ensure that residents and their families be kept informed of infections inside the facilities.

The legislation, which is now being introduced by Booker in the Senate, was first introduced in the House of Representatives by Gottheimer and originally cosponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-4).

“Long-term care facility residents, staff, and their families deserve to have the peace of mind that their facilities are prepared to deal with pandemics like the one we’re facing today, and that includes requiring all facilities to implement comprehensive reporting measures, crisis planning, and ensuring adequate PPE is available,” said Senator Cory Booker (NJ). “I am proud to work with Congressman Gottheimer on this legislation to ensure our long-term care facilities have the resources they need to protect residents and staff during this public health crisis and beyond.”

“When this virus hits these vulnerable populations, if a facility doesn’t have the proper precautions and plans in place, it can spread like wildfire. I’ve also heard too many devastating stories from across North Jersey that families didn’t know their loved ones might be infected until it was too late,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Ensuring facilities are communicating outbreaks to the CDC, to their residents, and to loved ones, and ensuring crisis plans and stockpiles of PPE are in place are vital protections our seniors and veterans need as we enter the fall, winter, and flu season. With this bicameral legislation, I’m proud to be partnering with Senator Booker to help protect seniors throughout New Jersey and nationwide.

There have been more than 39,410 positive COVID-19 cases within more than 700 long-term facilities throughout New Jersey. New Jersey’s long-term care facilities have reported more than 7,198 deaths thus far. 

Watch today’s announcement HERE.

The Nursing Home Pandemic Protection Act of 2020 will include protections that require:

  • Long-term care facilities have a crisis plan in place to manage an outbreak of COVID-19 or other pandemics.
    • Facilities must establish a crisis plan to manage the outbreak of COVID–19 and other public health emergencies. Plans should outline procedures relating to infection control, staffing, personal protective equipment (PPE), outside medical providers and hospitalizations, and communication with family members.
  • Long-term care facilities have a stockpile of PPE.
    • Facilities must maintain a certain minimum amount of personal protect equipment (PPE) on hand to manage an outbreak of COVID-19 or other pandemics

Please click HERE for the full list of the provisions in the Nursing Home Pandemic Protection Act of 2020.

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