Residents of a New Jersey nursing home hit hard by COVID-19 were being wheeled out Wednesday by a team of workers in protective gear after the facility had at least 10 confirmed cases and all the rest of the residents were presumed to be infected.
Everyone living at the St. Joseph’s Senior Home in Woodbridge, New Jersey, about 25 miles from New York City, will soon be relocated to a similar facility at the request of state officials, according to the Morristown Daily Record.
Nursing home and long-term care facilities have been on high alert ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States in Washington state in late January and devastated a Seattle-area nursing home.
Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac said there have been at least 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at St. Joseph’s, and one death, according to the Daily Voice, a local media outlet. And the local NBC affiliate, which recorded the footage of the facility, reported that all 94 residents are presumed to be infected. Some workers there are reportedly showing symptoms too. The Catholic healthcare facility, which has been operating in the community for nearly 40 years, did not immediately respond to a VICE News request for comment.
"The sisters told us on Friday that 12 of their employees were home, feeling ill with respiratory symptoms," New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli told reporters Tuesday, according to the Daily Record. "The sisters were working around the clock to take care of almost 90 residents. I don’t know how many were there, but when they called us, I can tell you that it was an extreme situation."
Elderly people are more vulnerable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that’s sickened tens of thousands of people across the U.S. The outbreak at the Life Care Center near Seattle, long before cities started locking down, led to at least 37 coronavirus-related deaths, according to KOMO.
Nursing homes in Virginia, New York, and Philadelphia, meanwhile, have also flagged that they’re also dealing with potential outbreaks. A federal health agency warned this week that 147 nursing homes across 27 states have confirmed at least one case of coronavirus.
Cover: Screen shot of tweet by Steve Bognar of Channel 4 New York