As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spreads across the country at a rapid pace, the New York-New Jersey region has emerged as one of the worst affected.
New Jersey reported its first coronavirus case on March 4. Now, cases have skyrocketed to 99,989, with 5,368 deaths. Many cases are clustered in nursing homes, where 10,700 patients have been infected. As many as 1,779 nursing home residents have died due to COVID-19.
Andover Nursing Home Badly Hit
Last week, an anonymous tip led to the discovery of 17 bodies at the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center in Andover, New Jersey, one of the state’s largest nursing homes.
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These 17 were part of 68 recent deaths at just this one nursing home in New Jersey. 26 of the deceased had tested positive for coronavirus. The anonymous tip said that the bodies were piled in a shed, but when police arrived, they had been moved to the facility’s tiny morgue.
According to county health records, as of April 15, 76 residents at the facility had tested positive and 41 staff members were sick due to COVID-19.
The facility is New Jersey’s largest licensed facility, with space for 700 patients. Even before the outbreak, the nursing home had been under fire for poor patient care and inadequate staffing. It had received a “much below average” rating from Medicare in March 2019.
425 New Jersey Homes Have Outbreaks
On April 20, the state of New Jersey released a list of the nursing homes where coronavirus outbreaks have killed residents or made them sick. 425 nursing homes have reported cases.
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The release of the list comes after demands to publicly announce the names of facilities where coronavirus is prevalent. New Jersey State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said, “Repeatedly we have re-enforced their obligation to inform residents, staff and families. However, we are still hearing concerns that that is not taking place,” she said. “So in the full interest of transparency, we are sharing the details.”
Look Out for Your Loved Ones
Ensure that family members at nursing homes are safe, especially if their homes are onthe lists released by State Health Departments. Try to chat or video call your loved ones regularly. If they lack a phone or cannot communicate via phone, ask a staff member to help. Ensure that you receive timely updates about the health of your loved one and coronavirus cases in the facility.
Check whether the nursing home has a COVID-19 plan in place. If your loved one tells you they are feeling sick, make sure that the nursing home is screening for coronavirus and taking necessary precautions according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) guidelines for nursing homes.
Our firm is here for you 24/7, and we’re honored to continue serving you as always during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reach out to us for legal advice, support or to file a claim at (800) 794-0444.