NJ nursing home barred from taking in residents over COVID outbreak

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A New Jersey nursing home has been barred from accepting new residents after more than three-quarters of them got infected with the coronavirus.

Somerset Woods Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Franklin Township was sent an “emergency curtailment of admissions” order by the state’s health department following an inspection last month.

It was also ordered to hire two full-time employees devoted to the outbreak — a long-term care administrator to ensure staff adhered to local standards, and an infectious disease professional.

Records showed that 85 of the 111 residents — or 76.6% — were infected at the time, as well as 25 staff members, according to NJ.com. At least 13 residents have died from the contagion since May, the outlet said.

“In order to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community and protect vulnerable populations from contracting the virus, the Commissioner of the Department of Health hereby order the curtailment of all admissions to the facility,” the order ruled.

“The facility shall be prohibited from accepting new admissions until further notice.”

Such suspensions are rare, taken with only eight of nearly 680 long-term licensed facilities since the pandemic began in March, NJ.com said.

Somerset Woods’ administrator, Steven Schwimmer, did not immediately return messages for comment.

In an Oct. 30 update on the facility’s website, he insisted that none of the residents or staff had tested positive in the previous week, which was three weeks after the initial inspection and outbreak.

“This is a very difficult time for all of us and we are looking forward to getting back to normalcy as soon as possible,” Schwimmer wrote.

“We remain vigilant in fighting and isolating the Virus to the best of our abilities.”

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