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Report: ‘Filthy’ Conditions Played ‘a Part’ in New Jersey Facility's Fatal Viral Outbreak

A worker at the rehabilitation center where an adenovirus outbreak took the lives of seven children described the facility as “filthy,” NJ Advance Media reports. The Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation reportedly had rusty equipment, mold issues, and “bug-infested rooms” inside. A worker told the website the conditions in the for-profit facility “play[ed] a part” in the outbreak. “I've never seen anything like this,” the worker said, referring to the managers’ indifference to the conditions including "bees sometimes coming in the patients' rooms.” The worker also described how the facility was told to “immediately” remove a dirty carpet after a health inspection in August, but kept the carpet anyway. The worker blamed the facility’s issues on new management that took over about four years ago, and claimed they had been “cutting costs and reducing staff wherever possible.” The center was reportedly taken over by Continuum Healthcare LLC on 2014, which operates six facilities in New Jersey and at least two in Pennsylvania. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave the center a “below average” rating in a 2017 health inspection report, and stated the facility “failed to ensure infection control practices were followed.” Eleven others people at the facility are reportedly infected, and state Department of Health is currently conducting an investigation into the matter.