April 23, 2020
Over the weekend, a nursing home in a small New Jersey town requested 25 body bags from authorities. On Monday the 15th, the New Jersey police received an anonymous tip about a body being stored in a shed outside one of the state’s largest nursing homes.
When the police landed, the alleged corpse had been taken away from the shed. Still, they discovered 17 bodies piled inside the facility’s tiny morgue, intended to hold no more than four people.
A total of 68 people associated with the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center have recently died, with 26 having tested positive for COVID-19. It is still unclear whether any of the 17 bodies found were due to the Coronavirus.
The virus has swept through the New York region’s nursing homes with devastating and deadly speed, killing thousands of residents at facilities struggling with staff shortages, increasingly sick patients and a lack of personal protective gear.
But with beds for 700 patients, Andover Subacute is the state’s largest licensed facility. The risk of continued spread is terrifying to family members who have turned to social media and their local congressman, desperate for answers and extra personnel.
“The challenge we’re having with all of these nursing homes is once it spreads, it’s like a wildfire,” said Representative Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat. He got the call on Saturday, asking for body bags. “It’s very hard to stop it.”
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