Coronavirus in New Jersey: National Guard being called in to help long-term care facilities

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is calling on the National Guard to assist long-term care facilities in his state that have been struggling to keep pace with the coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement comes as 513 long-term care facilities across New Jersey have been affected by the coronavirus, with a combined 24,639 cases and 4,505 deaths, statistics show.

“Over 120 soldiers will be in the first tranche of assistance and we are working with our long-term care centers to backfill the need they are not able to fill on their own,” Murphy said Thursday, according to NJ.com.

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“We don’t take this step lightly,” Murphy added. “But we take it knowing that the crisis in our long-term care facilities requires us to take it.”

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The soldiers, according to Murphy, will help staff at the facilities with non-medical tasks, such as cooking meals and administrative work.

There have been staffing shortages at the facilities because workers have been falling ill from the coronavirus, NJ.com reported.