The Andover Police department in New Jersey says a tip about a possible body in a shed, has led them to find that one of the states largest nursing homes has been struggling to deal with the amount of deceased people in their care.
The discovery was made on Monday at the Andover Subacute and Rehab Center II.
Police say when they arrived to the location they did not find a body in a shed, however, they did find that the facility only built to handle four deceased people at a time, had at least 17 bodies.
Each of the bodies were found in the building’s morgue in a body bag that identified each person.
Authorities say they were asked to assist medical staff in relocating 13 of the bodies to a refrigerated trailer at Newton Medical Center.
Four of the bodies remained at the morgue.
“The staff was clearly overwhelmed and probably short-staffed,” Andover Police Chief Eric Danielson, one of the responding officers, told CNN. “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.”
Danielson went on to say that he has never seen so many bodies at once in a nursing home:
“It is by far one of the most bodies at one time that I’ve experienced in terms of a nursing home. Based upon the pandemic and the numbers we saw coming out of the facility, I don’t know if I’m necessarily shocked about that. It’s an unfortunate situation altogether.”
While the center has been linked to around 68 cases of the coronavirus with 28 deaths, it is unclear if any of the 17 deceased was affected by the virus.
The 2,543 licensed beds, making it one of the largest nursing homes in New Jersey, however, the facility was rated “much below average” by Medicare in March according to Danielson.