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State Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Woodbridge)

Vitale calls for daycare closures

By Nikita Biryukov, March 18 2020 6:17 pm

State Sen. Joe Vitale called for the state’s daycare centers to be closed along with New Jersey’s schools Wednesday.

“The Governor took the right action to help stem the spread of COVID-19 by closing public and private schools at virtually every level, but the failure to extend the same safety measure to day care centers leaves an open vulnerability that puts infants, their families and others at risk,” Vitale said. “This is a double standard. We should establish a more definitive policy with a consistent standard that includes the closure of day care centers.”

Murphy has said his administration chose to keep daycares open to avoid straining the state’s health care workers, who are already spread thin dealing with the novel coronavirus.

Vitale, who is chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, said separate facilities could be erected to care for children belonging to the state’s first responders.

“If we need a specialized service to care for the children of emergency responders during this crisis, we can easily address that need with ‘closed’ facilities in state sponsored locations with health containments,” he said.

The senator is in communication with Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli and Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson about the matter.

“I have had productive consultations with the commissioners of Health and Human Services on the range of actions we can take to protect the safety of everyone and I will continue to work in a collaborative and cooperative way as we navigate what is an unprecedented health crisis,” he said.

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