Saint Joseph’s Senior Home in Woodbridge could become a causality of COVID-19.
State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said the state is working with leaders of the facility to assist them in moving residents to new quarters.
“This may result unfortunately and ultimately in the closure of that facility, a facility that has cared for the most vulnerable population in Woodbridge and the surrounding area for decades,” said Persichilli at a March 24 briefing with Governor Phil Murphy.
“This is the result of some of their employees with influenza-like illnesses and they have a number of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately we have been monitoring the organization since Friday evening and we are working with the Sisters that take care of the residents for an orderly transition.”
Persichilli added that the DOH continues to monitor the patients with positive results in all of the state’s long term care facilities.
She said the department is also seeing a significant number of patients under the age of 65. “This a reminder to younger individuals that they are not immune from COVID-19 they also need to take steps to reduce their risk of exposure.”
Regarding non-positive test results, according to data collected from seven labs that have sent COVID-19 test results to the DOH, there have been more than 12,000 tests performed on New Jersey residents of which approximately 3,600 have tested positive for an overall positivity rate of 27 percent.
“That’s an important rate,” said Persichilli, “That will help us in our predictive modeling of the type of care that these individuals require. It also means that the majority of the results have been negative.”
Perschilli added that it is important for people who test negative for COVID-19 and have symptoms that they stay at home while they are sick because it might mean they have been infected with another respiratory virus.
Gov. Phil Murphy confirmed that a second shipment of personal protective equipment has been sent from the federal government.
He also said that four field hospitals would be constructed by the Army Corp of Engineers. The locations include the Meadowlands, the Edison Convention Center, the Atlantic City Convention Center and another at a still undetermined location.
As of March 24, 846 new cases of COVID-19 were reported bringing the total to 3,675. Seventeen additional deaths were reported bringing the total number of fatalities to 44.
New Jersey now has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the nation.