WESTWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Cases of COVID-19 swept through nursing homes when the pandemic started. Now, the numbers are going up again.
The trend is leading nursing homes to take extra precautions, CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported Friday.
Admissions at CareOne at Valley in Westwood have been put on pause after several residents tested positive for the coronavirus.
The outbreak is linked to a hospital employee in Bergen County.
The New Jersey Department of Health said 12 residents and eight staff members have gotten sick.
Statewide, there are active outbreaks at 177 long-term care facilities, with more than 2,600 cases among residents and another 2,000 among staff.
“It’s coming in from the community. We know that our communities are seeing a rise throughout all of the regions. We keep a close eye on that,” said Health Commissioner Judy Persichelli.
One of the big concerns, according to Persichelli, is visitation.
“It’s a risk, bringing your loved one home and, it’s a risk from our perspective. We don’t think it’s very positive. It’s not a risk that I think you want to take,” she said.
The trend in Bergen County is cause for concern.
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“It’s a tragedy and I just hope they can resolve this situation and in the future it won’t happen anymore,” said Tom Morrisroe of New Milford.
Morrisroe said he’s seen people let their guards down when it comes to wearing masks.
“I think we’re in for a lot of trouble,” he said.
CareOne and other facilities like it have stepped up safety procedures, but the threat still exists.
In a statement, CareOne said, “Our protocols have changed numerous times since the onset of the pandemic.”
Those changes include expanded testing. What hasn’t changed is the overall risk associated with COVID-19.
“Unfortunately, older people are going to be more vulnerable no matter what,” Mary Hero said.
With winter on the way, no one wants to see a repeat of what happened at the height on the pandemic.
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