Horror nursing home find after tip-off
An anonymous tip-off has led to a gruesome discovery at a New Jersey nursing home after police found 17 bodies piled in the facility's small morgue.
A concerned resident had called police with fears a body was being stored outside in a shed on Saturday, according to multiple reports.
When police arrived at the Andover nursing home on Monday they didn't find a body in the shed, but workers asked police for assistance with the 17 bodies stacked in their morgue, according to CNN. Officers said the staff were unable to deal with the situation.
"The staff was clearly overwhelmed and probably short-staffed," said Eric Danielson, the Andover Police Chief and one of the officers who was at the scene on Monday.
"The residents were expiring. Why? We're not sure if it's from COVID-19 or from other diseases, but we tried our best to ease the burden."
The nursing home's morgue only had enough space for four bodies. Each body had been put in a body bag and tagged. After police arrived four bodies were kept on site, and crews arrived on site to take 13 other bodies in a refrigerator truck to nearby Newton Medical Centre.
The long-term care facility has been linked to 68 recent deaths, according to The New York Times. Two of those dead included nurses who worked at the facility. Of those who have died, 26 have tested positive for coronavirus. The causes of the other deaths are currently being reported as unknown.
In New Jersey, more than 71,000 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus. The death toll in the state is more than 3100.
There are ongoing concerns for the staff and residents of the facility.
Of the patients in the homes, spread across two buildings, a further 76 have tested positive for coronavirus. There are also 41 staff members infected, including one of their administrators, who have COVID-19.
In the US more than 658,000 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
More than 26,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US.