National Guard deployed to New Jersey veterans home with at least 10 coronavirus deaths

The National Guard is being sent to help the New Jersey Veterans Home in Paramus, according to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
The New Jersey Veterans Home in Paramus
The New Jersey Veterans Home in Paramus on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.Michael Karas / NorthJersey.com / USA Today Networks

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By Janelle Griffith

An outbreak of the coronavirus at a veterans home in New Jersey has killed at least 10 residents over the past two weeks, prompting the deployment of National Guard members to the facility.

The Army National Guard is being sent to the New Jersey Veterans Home in Paramus, according to the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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Twenty-three residents at the Paramus facility have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 47 are awaiting test results, Kryn Westhoven, a spokesman for the department, told NBC News on Thursday.

A team of 40 medics from the Army National Guard will be deployed to the facility this week to help with nursing duties, Westhoven said.

"Families of our residents at the homes should know we're doing everything we possibly can to keep the residents safe," he said.

The Paramus facility is in Bergen County, the area of the state with the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths. New Jersey has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases of any state — 51,027 as of Thursday, with 1,700 deaths.

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The Paramus veterans home — one of three such facilities run by the state — can accommodate up to 336 residents. It stopped taking on new residents on March 23 to keep rooms free for isolation of residents who tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, Westhoven said.

The current population is 285.

About 35 medics from the National Guard will also be sent this week to a veterans home in Menlo Park, where at least four residents have died, Westhoven said.