New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday that he’s “outraged that bodies of the dead were allowed to pile up in a makeshift morgue” at a New Jersey nursing home.
Murphy said he asked the attorney general to investigate the deaths at the Andover Subacute and Rehab Center.
“New Jerseyans deserve to be cared for with respect, compassion and dignity,” Murphy said.
New Jersey’s Department of Health said the facility has had 35 deaths, including 19 from coronavirus, in recent weeks.
At least 103 residents have COVID-19, the health department said.
New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer claims 68 people have died at the nursing home, which is in his district.
The investigation comes after a number of bodies were removed this week. According to police, the first clue was a request for 25 body bags.
“When they called Saturday they were desperate for body bags,” Gottheimer said.
Investigators initially discovered five bodies in the facility’s holding area. In subsequent days they were tipped off to a body being stored in a shed. No bodies were seen in the shed but investigators then found another 12 bodies in the holding area.
A team has been sent to help the residents and staff at the rehab center, Murphy said.
The governor also said the attorney general will “do a review of all long-term care facilities that have experienced a disproportionate number of deaths” during the pandemic.