PARMAUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The National Guard is sending help to the New Jersey Veterans’ Home at Paramus where 10 residents have died from the coronavirus.
It’s a growing crisis in New Jersey where more than half of the nursing homes have COVID-19 cases, reports CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.READ MORE: Reopenings Continue On Broadway As 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' Resumes Performances
Combat medics and EMTs are among the 40 Guard members who were sent to help.
More than 20 residents are battling the virus, and nearly 20 staff have also been infected.
“The director of these facilities reports they’ve had staffing issues,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
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Persichilli added that the Department of Health recruited licenses nurses that will start next week at the Paramus nursing home.
A group of 35 National Guard members also have been sent to the Menlo Park Veterans Home where two residents died.
Some, like 78-year-old Barbara Simon who lives at the Atrium Assisted Living Home in Park Ridge where two have died.
“Sitting in line for two hours to get pills which I never got,” said Simon. “There’s a tremendous shortage of help.”
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The funeral for 87-year-old Claire Collins was held Thursday. She was staying at Atrium Post Acute Care.READ MORE: Democratic Mayoral Candidate Eric Adams Unveils Plan To Protect New Yorkers From Flooding, Climate Change Threats
Collins’ daughter, Geralyn Eisler, says her mother was seen in the hallway days before her death.
“You’re not taking proper precautions, so they are just letting it spread rampantly throughout that building,” said Eisler. “They need somebody to come in.”
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Visitors are banned, but it’s unclear how else facilities will stop the virus from spreading.
Already Woodcrest in New Milford is reporting at least five deaths.
Elizabeth’s mayor is calling on the attorney general to investigate around a dozen deaths at a nursing home in his city.
In Woodbridge, at St. Joseph’s, there was an evacuation after four residents died.
Jon Dolan reps the trade organization for many providers. He’s president and CEO of the Health Care Association of New Jersey.
“We’re the next front on this battle and our workers are in desperate straits,” said Dolan. “Our PPE supplies are low and we’re doing the best we can.”
“Our inspection teams have been in contact with all of them,” said Persichilli. “Some of them can expect a visit.”MORE NEWS: Hempstead's Effort To Revitalize Downtown, Transit Hub Starts With Community Policing Unit On Mountain Bikes
The commissioner adds the state is asking facilities to move COVID-19 positive patients into the same wings or same floors, eventually transporting them to the same building, but there is no timeline right now.