WOODBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The future of a senior home facility is uncertain after nearly a dozen residents tested positive for COVID-19.
CBS2’s Cory James was there as seniors were taken out one by one and placed into multiple buses that were escorted by state troopers to their new home.
Medical personnel in protective gear were busy Wednesday morning, wheeling out nearly 80 residents who live at St. Joseph’s Senior Nursing Home in Woodbridge.
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They’re all being evacuated and placed into an ambulance bus after 11 of their neighbors inside the building tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“It’s definitely sad to see,” said Mike Seifert.
It’s even more safe for his wife, Susan. He said she’s been a nurse there for 28 years.
“You said she’s inside working at this hour?” James asked.
“Yeah, prepping the patients to move to another facility up in North Jersey,” Seifert said.
That facility is nearly 30 miles away in Whippany.
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Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac told James the residents, who are in their late 80s and early 90s, will be take to CareOne at Hanover.
“It’s a difficult move for them mentally and emotionally and physically to have to get out gather your belongings and get on to a bus with others and be transferred to a place you’ve never been before,” McCormac said.
CareOne would not go on camera but said it was checking patients’ records to take care of them properly.
While those patients are being treated, Seifert said his wife is not showing signs of the deadly virus. However, 12 of her coworkers are under quarantine after having respiratory symptoms. That’s something nearby business owner Mark Gallager said concerns him.
“It freaks you out because you don’t know who’s got it. People are all over the place,” Gallager said.
And now, St. Joseph’s is blocked off by law enforcement. It will soon be sanitized and disinfected. It’s unclear if the senior facility, vacated because of the COVID-19 outbreak, will reopen again.
“The ultimate result may be closure,” state Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said. “It is not something we’re mandating, but we will work with the sisters for an orderly transition, and then we’ll continue to work with them on perhaps closure.”
The facility had been housing 89 residents.