A resident at a major assisted living and skilled nursing facility on Route 70 near the Brick-Lakewood border has died after testing positive for COVID-19, documents from the facility obtained by Shorebeat show.
Leisure Park, owned by Five Star Senior Living, confirmed the death to patients and their families in a letter signed by Patrick Duffy, the facility’s executive director. In the letter issued Friday, Duffy wrote that a resident of the skilled nursing portion of Leisure Park died the same day following a positive COVID-19 test. The letter did not name the patient or the patient’s gender or age.
“Our hearts go out to their family and friends during this difficult time, and we are committed to helping members of our community heal from this unfortunate loss,” Duffy wrote.
The letter said the facility, located at 1400 Route 70 in Lakewood, “immediately engaged with appropriate medical personnel and physicians to ensure they received the best treatment available” once the individual’s condition was identified. This week, the letter said, Leisure Park began implementing enhanced protocols recommended by the CDC and Five Star’s COVID-19 task force to reduce the possibility of the virus spreading through the sprawling facility.
The protocols include a more stringent screening procedure requiring essential visitors to wear face masks at all times. The facility had already been requiring mandatory temperature checks and hand sanitizing before anyone entered the building, the letter noted.
The community has received respiratory masks and requires all employees to wear face masks at all times, and PPE “when in direct contact with residents.” There is also enhanced cleaning and disinfecting processes that are ongoing.
A call to Five Star’s headquarters seeking comment went unanswered Friday afternoon.
The letter said the facility’s staff was monitoring all residents and patients and sought to send them to the hospital before they showed symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus.
As of Friday, Ocean County was reporting 4,432 cases of COVID-19, including 1,263 in Lakewood, 776 in Toms River and 566 in Brick.