A day after it was reported that fifteen residents and eleven staff at Victor Manor, a long-term nursing care facility in Lower Township, Cape May County records its second death from the virus.
By David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, April 7, 2020
The Cape May County Department of Health is reporting that the County’s second fatality attributed to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 was an 86-year old man with significant underlying medical conditions, who had been a patient at Victoria Manor, a long-term care facility in North Cape May.
Late yesterday evening, the County Health Department released a statement confirming that 15 residents and 11 staff at Victoria Manor on 3809 Bayshore Road in North Cape May had tested positive for COVID-19. Less than twenty-four hours later, it has been confirmed that a twelfth staff member has also tested positive.
“We are deeply saddened today to learn that a fellow Cape May County resident died from COVID-19,” said Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton. “Our deepest condolences and prayers to the family and loved ones during their time of mourning. The County remains vigilant in our efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and will continue to do all we can to protect our most vulnerable populations.”
“A death in Cape May County shows the gravity of the situation,” said Freeholder Jeff Pierson. “It’s critically important for us all to take actions that will help protect our most vulnerable citizens. By working together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 and help ensure the health care system will be able to care for those who need it most.”
Genesis HealthCare, which operates Victoria manor and other nursing homes and senior living facilities across the South Jersey and Delaware area, has been working closely with the Cape May County Department of Health and New Jersey State Health Department to contain the spread of this disease by strictly following infectious disease guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These guidelines include both isolation and quarantine protocols.
“When a nursing home facility has an outbreak, regardless if it is flu, norovirus or COVID-19, Cape May County Health Department immediately begins the investigation process to follow the communicable disease exposure of others, and will instruct the facility administrators to monitor or isolate those individuals until they are no longer contagious,” said Health Officer, Kevin Thomas.
Victoria Manor is a skilled nursing facility with 120 beds. It is unclear how 27 infections were discovered over a period of just two days, but the County Department of Health said they began investigating as soon as they learned that residents and staff had contracted the virus.
According to a statement by the CMC DOH, staff and residents who do not have serious symptoms are being monitored, and medically isolated but not hospitalized. The facility said they continue to follow all CDC guidelines for disease outbreaks in long-term health care facilities including deep cleaning on a regular basis.
Cape May County is now reporting 100 cases of COVID-19 and two deaths attributed to the virus, while the State of New Jersey has reported 44,416 cases with 1,232 fatalities. The US now has 394,278 cases and 12,717 deaths.