MONTCLAIR, NJ - In less than a week, three people from a long-term care facility in Montclair have died from coronavirus complications.
The most recent death at the facility was the administrator, who died after testing positive. Two residents from the same facility also died from COVID-19 complications, according to reports. A resident, who died on March 18, was posthumously tested and the results revealed positive COVID-19 results, the family announced.
John Cofrancesco, a 52-year-old administrator at the long-term care facility, Family of Caring in Montclair died Thursday. He was the most recent person associated with the facility to die from complications. Cofrancesco was a Bergenfield resident.
On March 13, an 82-year-old patient at the same facility was taken to Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside hospital with symptoms and succumbed on March 18. The facility believes that the resident had been infected after a visitor brought the virus into the facility on March 7, a spokesperson for the facility announced. After staff observed that the visitor was coughing, the person was asked to leave.
After the resident's positive reading, the nursing home then received test kits from a private lab to swab any residents showing symptoms. The visitor also tested positive for COVID-19, according to the facility’s spokesperson Jonathon Mechaly.
Friends, close to the family, have indicated that the virus may have spread to his relatives and are asking for food to be delivered to the home. This information has not been confirmed or denied by any official sources.
Though another death occurred on March 18, neither Montclair Health officials nor Family Caring staff had commented if the death was COVID-19-related. However, after the publication of this article, the family of the resident confirmed that test results confirm it to be complications from COVID-19.
The family of residents at the facility have started to speak out. The daughter of one of the residents, who has passed on, stated that positive results came back after her mom's passing.
According to other families affected, most of the residents were swabbed on March 18. Some have reported declining health in their loved ones.
On March 18, Alix Handy expressed frustration saying, "Family of Caring Nursing Home in Montclair has an outbreak. I was read a statement by them today. A person visited his wife at the facility on 3/7 and had a cough. She was escorted out of the building because of her cough and subsequently tested positive. Another resident was transferred to the hospital and tested positive there. My mother is in her 80s and has a lot of health issues. She is currently on oxygen but her health is rapidly declining. They swabbed many of the residents today including my mother."
She later updated her social media post to inform people that her mother had passed. Handy later revealed that her mom tested positive for the coronavirus.
"I know a lot of you saw the post about my mother passing away at Family of Caring on Wednesday. I just got the results this morning that she tested positive for Covid 19," Alix Handy wrote on Tuesday, nearly a week later.
"This does not come as a surprise. Bear in mind that she was swabbed on Wednesday [March 18], and it took until today to get her results back. The backlog of tests means the numbers are so much higher than what is being reported," said Handy.
It is not yet known whether any of the other residents or staff of the Montclair facility have tested positive.
As of March 19, Montclair Health Officials indicate the total COVID-19 positive reports for Montclair was five.
As of Wednesday, New Jersey now has the second highest number of cases in the nation, with 3675 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide and 44 deaths, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Formerly known as Van Dyk Health Care, Family of Caring purchased this nursing home in October of 2018. Van Dyk Health Care has no affiliation to Family of Caring.