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‘The virus isn’t a death sentence’: New Jersey facility takes on COVID-19 with success

McKnight By Liza Berger, May 6, 2020

When the New Jersey Department of Health called in late March for assistance at a nursing home in the area that was overrun with COVID-19, CareOne acted fast.

“We were able to relatively quickly pull together some directors of nursing and administrative nurses and support the sisters providing primary care to people at St. Joe’s,” Lizzy Straus, executive VP of operations for CareOne, a family-owned chain of post-acute care facilities, long-term acute care hospitals and assisted living facilities in New Jersey, told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

The situation at St Joseph’s Senior Home in Woodbridge turned out to be dire. Three nuns, who were sick with symptoms from the coronavirus, were caring for some 85 residents by themselves; the rest of the staff were not coming into work. The nuns were feeding the residents just twice a day. All the residents were presumed COVID-19-positive.

“We were frank about what we viewed the situation to be,” noted Thomas McKinney, senior vice president of care for CareOne.

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