Police in New Jersey got an anonymous tip on Monday that a body is being stored in one of the state's largest nursing home's shed outside. Cops arrived and removed the shed, but they found out a pile of 17 bodies kept inside a small morgue that cannot hold more than four bodies. "They were just overwhelmed by the number of people who were expiring," said Eric C Danielson, the police chief in Andover.
Around 68 people recently died who were staying at a long term staying facility in Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center I and II. These 17 deaths were also included in long term staying facility deaths along with two nurses, officials said. Out of those who died, 26 people tested positive of coronavirus while the cause of death is unknown for others.
According to the county's health record, 76 patients tested positive out of overall patients staying in the homes. Around 41 staff members including administrator also found to be diagnosed with COVID-19 disease. Thousands of residents staying at various nursing homes in New York have died as coronavirus has devastated the entire region with deadly speed.
Nursing home facilities falling short of supporting staff and PPE
The facilities are struggling with a shortage of staff and lack of personal protective equipment as the number of sick patient increases. Andover Subacute is state's largest licensed facility with beds for 700 patients. "The challenge we're having with all of these nursing homes is once it spreads, it's like a wildfire. It's very hard to stop it," said Josh Gottheimer, Democratic Party representative.
Robert Brown, former Spiritual Care Director at Andover Subacute Rehab Center wrote to Congressman Chris Smith on Facebook that they have critical shortage of PPE while taking care of COVID-19 patients. "90 PERCENT of these residents are Medicaid and the financial budget is funded by those payments. It is impossible for them to afford the current prices of PPE to restock. How do we get a delivery of PPE to that facility from the state stockpile? It is a critical need situation at this time . thank you," he added.