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New Jersey’s done better than NY

May 26, 2020 |

Manhattan: Why is the governor of New Jersey testing all 8,000 people and staff who work in all the group homes and state-licensed facilities providing care to persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities and we are not doing this in New York? During the daily briefings from both Gov. Murphy and Gov. Cuomo, they talked about coordination with every regional activity from closing or opening beaches to a symbiosis of essential businesses.

Why did the governor of New Jersey give an automatic $3 per hour increase to all direct care staff and the staff in New York remain at the same funding today as in January? Why did states like Maryland, Arizona and even New Mexico give as high as 19% increases to facilitate retention of essential direct care staff who are on the front lines every day and there is bupkis in New York?

As a provider in New York City, Syracuse and the Southern Tier, I remain concerned that staff will infect each other because they all maintain more than one job to keep food on the table given the fact that they live in Brooklyn and Queens, earn less than $20 per hour and run the high risk of infection.

They go to work every day and have to self-isolate from their families at home. We don’t need to have one more celebrity doing a Zoom sing-a-long about them being heroes. We need the Legislature to understand that if our direct care workers stop doing direct care, there will be a much greater need for testing because the spread will increase geometrically. Robert Stack, president and CEO, Community Options