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National Guard deployed to Meadowview, other local long-term care facilities amid COVID-19 surge
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COVID-19

National Guard deployed to Meadowview, other local long-term care facilities amid COVID-19 surge

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Meadowview nursing home

Staff at Meadowview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Northfield, shown in 2018, will be bolstered starting Monday by members of the New Jersey National Guard.

Tamika Dalton spent untold hours at her mother's nursing home window during the long, lonely months of the COVID lockdown. What she saw still haunts her.

New Jersey National Guard teams are being deployed to several long-term care facilities in South Jersey this week as part of COVID-19 operations.

A 10-member National Guard team will begin working at Atlantic County’s Meadowview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Northfield starting Monday, county officials said Saturday.

The team will assist with COVID-19 response efforts and augment staff that is short-handed due to the surge of the omicron variant. The team will be available for seven days or longer if needed, the county said in a news release.

“Our health care workers have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic,” county Executive Dennis Levinson said. “Exposures and outbreaks are currently impacting our staff and residents, so we welcome the support of the National Guard at this time.”

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Guardsmen may assist residents with daily hygiene activities, getting out of bed, dressing, walking and feeding, the county said. They also may “buddy up” with Meadowview staff to provide additional assistance.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday said he was deploying the Guard to nursing homes as they experience COVID surges and staffing shortages. About 150 Guard members are expected to bolster staffing at more than a dozen facilities in the state. Other states also have employed this option in recent weeks.

Other local long-term care facilities receiving National Guard troops are the Vineland Veterans Memorial Home and Lincoln Specialty Care, also in Vineland, and Crest Haven Nursing & Rehabilitation in Cape May Court House, according to a document from the National Guard. Those deployments also start Monday.

According to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, 513 long-term care facilities in New Jersey were experiencing COVID outbreaks as of Saturday, for a total of 5,627 resident cases and 8,679 staff cases.

In Atlantic County, 16 facilities were experiencing outbreaks, with 122 resident cases and 281 staff cases. In Cape May County, 10 facilities were experiencing outbreaks, with 85 resident cases and 155 staff cases. And in Cumberland County, nine facilities were experiencing outbreaks, with 128 resident cases and 288 staff cases.

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