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Elizabeth mayor asks AG to investigate nursing home where 12 died from COVID-19

The mayor of Elizabeth is asking the New Jersey attorney general to investigate a nursing home where at least 12 residents died from COVID-19-related complications.

News 12 Staff

Apr 8, 2020, 10:19 PM

Updated 1,510 days ago

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The mayor of Elizabeth is asking the New Jersey attorney general to investigate a nursing home where at least 12 residents died from COVID-19-related complications.
News 12 New Jersey first reported Tuesday about the Elizabeth Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and how 22 residents at the long-term care facility have died since March 22. Officials say that at least 12 of those deaths were related to COVID-19.
Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage says that the operators of the facility have not been forthcoming with information about what is happening inside.
“That’s the tragedy of this and the secretive nature of the nursing home operation when they didn’t even bother to take the time to inform the families. As mayor, it’s heartbreaking,” Bollwage says.
Officials say that 16 other residents and eight staff members have also tested positive for the virus at the facility. Bollwage says that the facility’s director is one of the positive cases. The mayor says that he did not know about the outbreak at the facility until a local hospital and the state told his office.
“I called all the administrators on March 11 and March 12 and asked them if they needed any help…they said they had it all under control. Obviously, this nursing home has chosen the secretive route versus information,” says Bollwage.
The pandemic has hit hard nursing homes, rehab centers and long-term care facilities across the state. Staff and equipment shortages are becoming worse, and fears and frustrations are running high.
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“We may be the biggest story today, but I believe there will be nursing homes with bigger stories in the days to come,” Bollwage says.
It was not immediately clear if or when the attorney general would investigate the facility.
Gov. Phil Murphy and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli did address the issue Wednesday during their daily COVID-19 briefing. They say that a plan is in place and is already being implemented to help reconfigure staffing and move patients out of facilities that can’t separate patients who are infected with the virus from others who haven’t been exposed.


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