Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont announced Friday the launch of the Nursing Home and Assisted Living Oversight Working Group.

The bipartisan working group was formed by the governor in collaboration with leadership in the Connecticut General Assembly.

The governor said, the working group “will evaluate and address challenges for nursing homes and assisted living facilities that have been revealed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The working group will build on the report issued last month by the independent firm Mathematica and CT Dept. of Public Health.

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The governor said, “the working group’s mission will be to make recommendations on proposed legislation for the 2021 legislative session addressing lessons learned from COVID-19. These include structural challenges in the operation and infrastructure of nursing homes and assisted living facilities and changes needed to meet the demands of any future pandemic.”

“We’ve taken many steps to address the outbreak of COVID-19 within our long-term care facilities, but we must continue being proactive and take the appropriate steps to make improvements and ensure that the quality and safety of some of the most vulnerable residents in our state remains a top priority,” Governor Lamont said. “Working collaboratively, we can develop the appropriate legislative solutions that will help address many of these challenges.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed some great challenges faced by nursing homes and assisted living facilities and the staff who work hard to care for our most vulnerable residents in Connecticut,” Connecticut Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner Dr. Deidre S. Gifford said. “Many of these challenges predated the pandemic, but it is crucial we learn the right lessons and apply that knowledge so we can better position nursing homes and assisted living facilities for the future. I look forward to working together with a common goal of assessing what systemic changes are needed and the best way to achieve them. Nursing home and assisted living residents, staff and families are counting on us.”

The oversight group will consist of lawmakers and experts in assisted living and nursing home care from the private sector.

It will be co-chaired by State Representative Toni Walker (D-New Haven), the House chair of the Appropriations Committee, and one soon-to-be-named co-chair from the executive branch.

The working group held its first meeting on Thursday morning at 10 a.m., and the full video is available to watch on CT-N’s website.