NJ veterans home gets aid after 27 residents die with COVID-19
PARAMUS — Another 17 patients at the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home have died from COVID-19 since Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths to 27, according to the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
It's a significant jump for the 336-bed facility, which had 10 confirmed cases on Thursday. The number of patients who tested positive also increased sharply, from 23 on Thursday to 37 on Saturday and 75 on Monday, according to department spokesman Kryn Westhoven. The home has 269 residents.
The number of residents hospitalized from Paramus went down from 12 to five. There had been a typo on the initial release of the numbers indicating a much higher number of 51, Westhoven said.
Twenty out of 394 staffers are infected.
Forty New Jersey National Guard combat medics continue to work at the center with another 35 at the Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home in Edison.
Additional help is coming from the state in the form of volunteers who signed up at the state's COVID-19 website. State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Tuesday that the state sent a list of 25 volunteer nurses to the Menlo Park and Paramus homes.
Westhoven said there are a number of issues creating pressure on the scheduling at the Paramus home.
"Not every every shift, not every day is stress. Only certain days. You have people who are COVID positive; people who are awaiting test results but they are asymptomatic but they have to be quarantined; and then you have other people who had a day off because of other issues or you have some people home because their kids are not at school," Westhoven said.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday said he is aware of the "enormous challenges and tragedey" at Paramus.
"Knock on wood, so far Vineland is holding its own, but we can't take anything for granted," Murphy said.
Westhoven said the department will start posting daily figures of residents and staff at all three homes on its website this week.
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