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Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home Ignored Infection Control Procedures

The current Coronavirus pandemic has drastically impacted the lives of citizens everywhere, but especially those living in nursing home facilities. A recent investigation at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park revealed that necessary infection control procedures to help slow the spread of Covid-19 were ignored, ultimately contributing to one of New Jersey’s worst outbreaks so far. 

As of May 4, 2020, 198 residents at the facility tested positive for the Coronavirus. Another fifty residents at the facility died as a result of Covid-related complications. The Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park has the second highest number of positive cases in the state, with the Paramus Memorial Veterans Home yielding the highest number of both cases and fatalities so far.

What Happened?

On March 16th, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 104, where stringent social distancing measures went into effect, including shutting off nursing home facilities to visitors. In response to the Coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released guidelines for nursing care facilities to help slow the spread of the virus. These precautions included:

  • Restricting visitors except for end-of-life situations
  • Screening residents daily for Covid-related symptoms and if symptomatic, isolating them immediately from other residents
  • Practicing safe social distancing measures
  • Canceling all group dining and activities
  • If Covid-19 was identified in the facility, quarantining all residents to their rooms

Despite these measures being implemented throughout the state since March, the Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park only started to quarantine infected residents last week. These findings were revealed by Chief Medical Officer, Elizabeth Schiff-Heedles, who took the time to address the residents’ families in a memo stating that residents will be divided “into units of those that are well, symptomatic and positive for the virus…in accordance with CDC guidelines.” The memo was sent to families on April 24th – over a month since social distancing and infection control precautions were put into place across the state. Families of those afflicted complained that the facility kept them in the dark since shutting their doors to the public back in March, with some finding out their parents had Covid-19 days after their initial diagnosis. 

This egregious form of negligence is not isolated to the Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park. The Paramus Memorial Veterans Home has seen 72 deaths as of May 13th while another 189 residents have tested positive for the Coronavirus. These numbers become even more devastating when you learn that the facility is home to 211 residents, meaning that nearly everyone who lives there has been impacted by the virus. New Jersey State Senator Joseph Lagana called for an investigation of the home this past Tuesday. 

What Other Nursing Homes and Facilities Have Been Affected?

The situations at both Paramus Memorial Veterans Home and Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park are far from isolated. In fact, New Jersey has seen 26,763 reported cases of Covid-19 at long-term facilities, with 522 homes having seen an outbreak and more than 5,000 combined fatalities. 

Likewise, a total of 346 veterans home residents across the state have been confirmed to have the Coronavirus, with 137 deaths as of date. Unsurprisingly, both the Paramus Memorial Veterans Home and Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park top this list. 

Contact a Red Bank Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Nursing Home Negligence Case in New Jersey

Did your loved one sustain serious injuries in New Jersey as a result of nursing home negligence? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Drazin & Warshaw, P.C. represent clients injured in elder abuse/neglect cases in Red Bank, Wall Township, Oceanport, Brielle and throughout Monmouth County, Middlesex County and Ocean County, New Jersey. Call Drazin & Warshaw, P.C. at (732) 576-8860 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 25 Reckless Place, Red Bank, NJ 07701, as well as offices in Hazlet and Brick.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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