UPDATE April 1, 8:50 a.m. Six people have now died and 16 residents have tested positive at the facility as of March 31, the Trentonian is reporting.
A nursing home in Plainsboro appears to have been at the center of a deadly outbreak of COVID-19.
Officials at Atrium Post Acute Care said in a statement that two residents died last week, and another four have tested positive for the virus.
“Our hearts go out to the families of the two patients we lost as a result of it and we pray for a positive outcome for the other four patients,” Atrium said.
The statement also said that the facility has barred visitors from the nursing home and has stopped communal activities, including dining. It is also enforcing social distancing between staff and residents, and staff members’ temperatures are being taken every four hours, or twice per shift.
Ruby Johnson, the daughter of Greta Hurst, one of the residents who died, contacted Communitynews.org complaining that there was a lack of communication from Atrium regarding her mother’s condition.
“They called me and my brother to tell us that my mom was fine, and that they had two cases, and they went straight to the hospital. There was no problem,” Johnson said.
That turned out not to be the case, she said.
“The next day I found out my mom was in respiratory distress,” Johnson said. “She was driven by the ambulance to Princeton hospital, where she died from the virus.”
She added: “I spoke to my mother’s primary doctor and he told us there was an outbreak at the facility. They didn’t tell us… They’re not notifying the loved ones to let them know that. They’re minimizing it.”
Communitynews.org has reached out to Atrium for comment and will update this article if a response is received.
Meanwhile, there was some confusion as to where Atrium is located, with initial reports stating that the facility is located in Princeton, Mercer County.
The nursing home, located on Windrows Drive across from Forrestal Village, is one of many businesses and residences along the Route 1 corridor with a Princeton ZIP code, but it is physically located in Plainsboro Township in Middlesex County.
Some media stories incorrectly reported that the Atrium fatalities were Mercer County’s first COVID-19-related deaths.
“The Atrium’s mailing address is Princeton, however it is physically located in Plainsboro in Middlesex County. We ask that any further inquiries be directed to the Middlesex County Health Department. There are seven municipalities in four different N.J. counties that use a Princeton mailing address, which can be confusing,” said the Princeton Health Department.
As of March 29, Middlesex County has reported a total of 793 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 141 positives in the previous 24 hours. That included six new cases in Plainsboro.
As of March 17, there have been 17 positives reported in the township. The county updates its counts daily at about 3 p.m. on its Twitter account @MiddlesexCntyNJ.