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New York Army National Guard at the Morris County COVID-19 vaccination site at the Townsquare Mall in Rockaway, N.J., on Jan. 8, 2021. Photo: Sarah Blesener/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday that the National Guard will deploy to long-term care facilities across the state to assist with COVID-19 outbreaks and staffing shortages due to the virus.

The big picture: New Jersey nursing homes were devastated during the early stages of the pandemic and experienced some of the highest death tolls in the country.

  • Officials at two of the deadliest nursing home sites in the state — Menlo Park and Paramus Veterans Memorial Homes — agreed last month to pay $53 million to families of 119 veterans who died of COVID in facilities, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Families of individuals who died claimed that managers in the facilities acted with gross negligence in fending off the pandemic, per the Journal.
  • The settlement amounts to approximately $445,000 per family.

Driving the news: "This deployment will send members of our National Guard to long-term care facilities with staffing needs and will act to protect the health and safety of long-term-care residents while the Omicron variant surges throughout the nation," Murphy said in a statement.

  • Approximately 150 members of the New Jersey National Guard will support more than a dozen long-term care facilities, where they will assist with administrative and logistical support, among other things.
  • Guard members are expected to begin at their assigned locations on Jan. 10, per the New Jersey Department of Health.

Go deeper: Nursing homes could be forced to close if staff shortages worsen

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron

Three COVID-19 testing companies place testing locations outside Grand Central Terminal on Jan. 14 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Experts are warning that subsequent COVID-19 variants are likely to come after Omicron, AP reports.

Why it matters: The warnings come as there's no guarantee that subsequent variants "will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them," underscoring the need for widespread vaccination, AP writes.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

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