At least eight people are dead and "many others" infected after a COVID-19 outbreak at a nursing home in Wanaque, the mayor said in a letter to local residents.
Mayor Dan Mahler said he learned of the deaths at the Lakeland Nursing Home on Fifth Avenue on Sunday morning.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday said he was directing the state's health commissioner to provide whatever aid was necessary to the town and to the nursing home.
Infected people are being treated on-site at the nursing home and the facility is on lockdown, Mahler added.
He also said a second nursing home in town is having an outbreak, with 10 infected but no deaths.
"These outbreaks at the nursing homes were likely the result of one person at each facility who was unknowingly exposed to the COVID-19 virus either visiting a patient or going to work," he said.
Last week all 94 residents of a nursing home in Woodbridge were evacuated after some tested positive for coronavirus and authorities said all of them were presumed to be infected.
Since the coronavirus arrived in the U.S. it has become a large threat to nursing homes across the country. The deadliest single spot in the nation’s coronavirus crisis, the Life Care Center in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, has seen 35 coronavirus-related deaths so far. Similar outbreaks have been seen at facilities in Ohio, Illinois and Arkansas.