WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Seventeen corpses packed into a four-person morgue were discovered at one of the largest nursing homes in New Jersey.
- The Rehabilitation Center is struggling to cope with the coronavirus outbreak, recording 76 residents and 41 staff members infected with the virus.
- Rep. Josh Gottheimer requests help from the federal government but also assures that the rehabilitation center will receive support from his office.
Andover Police Department found 17 bodies crowded into a four-person morgue at the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center I and II in Sussex County, New Jersey following one anonymous tip forwarded to the department.
The bodies inside the morgue were found this week, first reported by The New York Times. The Andover Police Department has not responded to the request for comments on Thursday, but Rep. Josh Gottheimer has confirmed the news.
Police Chief Eric C. Danielson said that the nursing homes “were just overwhelmed by the amount of people who were expiring,” in the interview with the Times.
The Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center made requests for body bags prior to the discovery of the bodies inside the morgue. Rep. Gottheimer confirms this, admitting that the administrator personally contacted his office for the request.
“She called and said, ‘We’re overwhelmed here,’” he said, explaining the situation at the nursing home. Rep. Gottheimer also mentions that the administrator, the woman who called him and “so many” staff members working inside the facility were sick.
The New York Times reports 76 residents and 41 staff members, housed in Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center, are infected with the coronavirus. Sixty-eight deaths are recorded linked to the nursing home, including the 17 bodies found inside the morgue earlier this week. Twenty-six of those tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center has not responded to requests for comments, but local officials assure that the infected are isolated from other residents inside the nursing home.
“Once one person in the home gets sick it spreads pretty quickly in nursing homes,” Rep. Gottheimer said. “We’re seeing this around the state.”
The Congressman assures that Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center finds support from his office, the state emergency services and the department of health. The difficulty only comes with the “huge nursing shortages” in New Jersey as the coronavirus continues to affect the country. The office under his directive has reached out to FEMA and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on Wednesday, seeking available help from the federal government.
Per NBC News analysis, 5,670 nursing home residents are dead after coronavirus infection since the virus affected the United States. There are 3,466 long-term care facilities in 39 states that report coronavirus patients under their care.