CAMDEN, NJ — Camden County has sent a letter to the New Jersey health commissioner asking for state-appointed monitors to be assigned to five long-term care facilities, which Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli said have been “big hot spots” for the novel coronavirus.
The five include Avistacare (39 cases and 15 deaths as of May 5 according to the letter) and Premier Cadbury (62 cases and 13 deaths) in Cherry Hill, Genesis Healthcare (119 cases and 26 deaths) and Lions Gate (47 cases and 10 deaths) in Voorhees, and United Methodist Communities in Collingswood (31 cases and 11 deaths).
"Over the last few weeks, the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services has been diligently assessing the facilities and educating the staff on infection control measures," reads an excerpt from the letter dated May 6 sent to State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.
Countywide, 156 deaths have been reported from LCF facilities out of the total 207.
According to the state dashboard, 25 facilities currently have outbreaks and there have been 997 LCF cases confirmed out of the total 3,750.
Cappelli continued, "The Camden County Board of Freeholders requests that the State immediately assign a monitor to the above facilities due to the continuing spread of COVID-19 and the increase in tragic deaths of the residents."
The county reported 44 new cases Thursday evening, a relatively low number compared to recent weeks.
“[We] reached a tragic milestone today, with 10 more deaths we now have lost more than 200 poor souls to COVID-19,” Cappelli said in a Tweet. “Please pray for the 207 deceased individuals and their families. May they rest in peace. Honor them by staying home and healthy.”
Earlier in the day, the state announced it would also deploy the national guard to designated facilities in the Garden State.
Camden County health officials also reiterated a public announcement sent by the New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) for residents who may potentially suffer a heart attack or stroke after not visiting a hospital or seeking medical attention for fear of contracting COVID-19.
“Today, the New Jersey Department of Health released a troubling public service announcement regarding the number of state residents who have suffered heart attacks and other treatable ailments because they feared going to the hospital or emergency room,” Cappelli said. “I want to assure our residents that the health care systems in Camden County and throughout New Jersey are safe and prepared to safely provide the care that you need.”