Entire Nursing Home 'Has Coronavirus'

St. Joseph's Senior Home in New Jersey goes into crisis mode
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2020 6:45 PM CDT
Entire Nursing Home 'Has Coronavirus'
Emergency personnel in protective suits help move people out of St. Joseph's Senior Home in Woodbridge, N.J., Wednesday, March 25, 2020.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A New Jersey nursing home was evacuated Wednesday after its entire resident population apparently contracted the coronavirus, NBC News reports. So far 24 of 94 patients at St. Joseph's Senior Home in Woodbridge have tested positive, but authorities say the other 70 likely have it too. "This is the presumption," said John Hagerty, a rep for the city of Woodbridge. "That all have been exposed and would be positive." So all the residents and patients were moved to a CareOne facility about 30 miles away, in Whippany, NJ, forcing people there to disperse to three other care facilities and a hospital. State officials coordinated the move, USA Today reports.

The coronavirus has also infected caregivers at St. Joseph's, which prompted another crisis: "The sisters told us on Friday that 12 of their employees were home, feeling ill with respiratory symptoms," says New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. "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." So the state found other care facilities in the region to relieve St. Joseph's staff over the weekend. "I can tell you the collaboration was extraordinary," says Persichilli. (Meanwhile, one insurer won't charge patients for coronavirus stays.)

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