ROXBURY, NJ – Merry Heart Senior Care in Succasunna is asking the public for donations of masks and other protective garments as it deals with COVID-19 infections of both residents and staff at its Merry Heart Assisted Living facility.

Ten residents of the Assisted Living complex on Route 10 tested positive for COVID-19 as did two of the facility’s staff members, said Roxbury Health Officer Mark Caputo.

He said all the residents found to be infected “are isolated on a separate floor” of the building, and he noted there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the adjacent Merry Heart Nursing Home Care complex.

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The staff members who tested positive were relieved of duty and are home in isolation, Caputo said.

Several attempts to get comment from Merry Heart management were not immediately answered.

However, on its website Merry Heart says it is “in great need” of N-95 masks along with disposable coveralls, disposable gloves, disposable booties, disposable gowns, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, surgical masks and protective goggles.

The company says donations can be dropped-off in front of its site but it asks that those making donations call (973) 584-4000 when they arrive.

Additionally, those desiring to donate items can mail or ship them to Merry Heart. The facility is asking people to call first or send a text to (973) 610-8507. The email address is HR1@merryheart.com.

Continuing to Investigate

Caputo said the township public health nurse disease investigator, with help from the state Department of Health, “reviewed quarantine and isolation protocol with the facility’s administration and nursing staff.”

All people who had close contact with Merry Heart residents who tested positive “are currently under self-monitoring protocol,” Caputo said.

He also said staff members in contact with patients and residents are using personal protective equipment (PPE) as required.

The COVID-19 cases at Merry Heart are among 104 identified in Roxbury as of Thursday, according to Morris County. The county, which is not releasing data about the number of COVID-19 deaths, said 2,599 people countywide have tested positive.

Caputo said he and the state “will continue to monitor the situation” at Merry Heart “and advise as appropriate.”

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