WOODBRIDGE – Four residents of the St. Joseph’s Seniors Home nursing home and assisted living facility in Woodbridge, who moved to a CareOne facility in Hanover last week, have passed away, with likely more fatalities to come, Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac said in his daily report on the novel coronavirus on April 2.
“They may have died in other towns, but they each lived [in Woodbridge] for over 50 years,” he said. “I don’t care what the numbers say, they are ours; they are our mothers, our fathers, our grandmothers and grandfathers. Please keep all of them in your thoughts and prayers. They simply did not deserve to spend the last month of their life the way they did, very much alone and in constant fear. On behalf of the families, we thank everyone who did all they could to make their last days as comfortable as they could possibly be.”
St. Joseph’s Seniors Home has been operated by the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception since 1981, according to its website. It is a nonprofit Catholic healthcare community focused on offering a continuity of senior living.
With the increasing number of reported positive COVID-19 cases, the nursing home became severely short-staffed as employees were getting sick, according to information provided by CareOne.
Twenty-four of the 94 patients, which include caregivers, tested positive for COVID-19, and the other 70 patients were presumptive positive, officials had said.
The Morris County Office of Emergency Management began to transport the 94 residents from St. Joseph’s to a CareOne facility on March 25.
Gov. Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Health, led by Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli, reached out to CareOne for assistance in helping St. Joseph’s and together they came up with the solution, according to officials.
On April 2, Woodbridge officials reported 19 new positive COVID-19 cases, including a fatality, an 85-year-old female.
“Following the national and state trends, Woodbridge had another bad 24 hours … bringing our total to 131 residents afflicted with this awful disease,” McCormac said.
The township had initially reported two prior fatalities; however, the mayor said one of the two deaths they had reported turned out not to be a COVID-19 case.
“The new cases once again are not concentrated in any one area of town and they are spread in age from 32 to 65 and evenly between males and females,” he said. “Only one on the new list of cases is indicated as needing hospital attention, which is good news.”
For more COVID-19 information, visit covid19.nj.gov. Visit www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us for local information.