North Jersey is losing one of its government-run long-term care facilities.
The Bergen County Health Care Center (BCHCC) in Rockleigh will permanently close by the end of 2021, county officials announced July 16. The county plans to consolidate its in-patient health care services into one facility for residents by providing long-term care at the centrally located Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus, which provides immediate access to acute care services as well as pharmacy, diagnostic, hearing, and dental services.
“The County of Bergen is dedicated to ensuring a seamless transition for Bergen County Health Care Center’s residents as we work to consolidate the County’s in-patient health care services,” said County Administrator Tom Duch in a press statement announcing the closing. “Over the next few months, we will be working closely with residents and their families to provide information and assistance during this transition so they can continue receiving the high-quality, compassionate care they have come to know in a centrally located, acute care setting.”
Below 50% Capacity
The BCHCC provided skilled-nursing care to the long-term care community, and had received national and statewide recognition for its services. The move was made by the county due to a varied of reasons, including emerging trends in long-term living, inadequate reimbursement, fixed overhead costs, a shift toward home or community-based care, outdated infrastructure and as a result of the pandemic, the current occupancy is less than 50% of the 110-bed capacity.
Over the last five years, BCHCC has continued to experience a gradual decline in residents, and officials believe the COVID-19 crisis revealed immediate access to acute care services will better serve long-term care residents.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to our nationally recognized staff who are true healthcare heroes, working tirelessly each day to create an at-home, individualized experience for residents,” stated Duch. “We are grateful for everything they are doing to keep residents healthy and safe and look forward to working with each of our valued employees to find options for employment at other healthcare facilities.”
The county said it is focused on ensuring a smooth transition for residents and staff, offering numerous options to avoid any reduction in workforce due to the closure, including securing new positions at the County Health Department or Bergen New Bridge Medical Center.
To facilitate the transition for residents and their families, the county is going beyond the state-required 60-day notification period and is providing residents and families with plenty of time to plan a transition.
Residents are being offered the ability to stay within the county network by relocating to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center. Officials offered they will provide information and assistance in finding an alternative arrangement that suits current patients needs.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 18 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 71 of the cases, broken down between 39 residents and 32 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,494 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 32,803 residents and 22,235 staff, for a total of 55,038.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 8,063 on July 16. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,878 residents deaths and 144 staff deaths.
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 10,205,616 in-state, plus an additional 357,452 administered out-of-state for a grand total of 10,563,068 as of July 16. Of those who have received the vaccine, 4,988,085 received their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose in state and another 153,571 out of state, bringing those fully vaccinated to 5,141,656.
Demographically, 53% of those vaccinated are women and 47% men. As for ethnicity, 49% are White, 15% Hispanic, 11% Asian, 7% Black, 9% other and 9% unknown. In regards to the age of those having received the vaccine, 25% are 65 years old or olders, 27% are between the ages of 50-64, 29% are between the ages of 30-49, and 19% are between the ages of 12-29.
In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 1,161,037 doses (571,370 fully vaccinated), Essex 860,419 doses (417,377), Hudson 787,569 doses (378,310), Morris 640,249 doses (313,224), Passaic 532,793 doses (258,782), Sussex 149,135 doses (73,972), and Warren 96,101 doses (47,365).
As of July 16, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 897,045 with 516 total new PCR cases reported. There were 173 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 130,909. The total number of individual cases for the state is 1,027,460.
As for those that have passed, the state reported two confirmed deaths, bringing that total to 23,815. The state listed probable deaths at 2,716, bringing the overall total to 26,531. State officials noted one death occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that has not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties on July 16, Bergen had a total of 45 new confirmed cases and 19 new probable cases, Essex 63 new cases and six new probable case, Hudson 35 new cases and 12 new probable cases, Morris 27 new confirmed cases and 10 new probable cases, Passaic 23 new cases and 13 new probable case, Sussex five new cases and two new probable cases, and Warren had nine new cases and two new probable cases.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,728, followed by Bergen at 2,593, Hudson with 2,090, Passaic at 1,741, Morris at 980, Sussex at 239, and Warren County at 212.
In regards to probable deaths reported July 14, Essex has 304, Bergen has 302, Morris has 262, Hudson has 218, Passaic has 203, Sussex has 68 and Warren has 26.
As for the rate of transmission reported July 16, it increased to 1.24 from 1.18 the day before. The daily rate of infections from those tested July 11 was 2.8%; by region, the rate was 2.9% in the North, 2.9% in the Central region and 2.2% in the South.
Officials reported 307 patients were hospitalized; 294 cases were confirmed and 63 are under investigation. By region, there were 169 in the North, 78 in the Central and 60 in the South.
Of those hospitalized, 44 are in intensive care units and 25 on ventilators. A total of 46 patients were discharged, while 28 were admitted.
Officials have continually cited transmission rate, hospitalizations, intensive care units, ventilators and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
Bergen Tops County Count
Bergen has the most confirmed cumulative cases in the state with 90,635, followed by Middlesex at 85,444, Essex at 85,292, Hudson at 79,254, Monmouth at 68,497, Ocean at 66,444, Passaic at 66,180, Union at 60,904, Camden at 49,413, Morris at 42,244, Burlington at 38,560, Mercer at 31,828, Gloucester at 26,753, Atlantic at 25,140, Somerset at 24,547, Cumberland at 14,997, Sussex at 11,807, Warren at 9,049, Hunterdon at 9,047, Salem at 5,603, and Cape May at 4,681.
In regards to probable cases, Bergen had the most at 14,799, followed by Union at 11,170, Ocean at 10,504, Essex at 9,583, Hudson at 9,382, Morris at 8,384, Monmouth at 8,247, Middlesex at 7,497, Passaic at 7,485, Camden at 6,829, Atlantic at 6,697, Burlington at 6,067, Somerset at 5,835, Cape May at 4,640, Gloucester at 4,081, Mercer at 2,458, Sussex at 2,364, Cumberland at 2,300, Warren at 1,032, Hunterdon at 906, and Salem 547.
Another 726 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.