Woodland Behavioral preps for official closing

ANDOVER. Before the nursing home closes its doors for good, the remaining residents need new homes and the staff need new jobs.

| 19 Jul 2022 | 10:47

Nearly 20 residents from New Jersey remain at the Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center, formerly Andover Subacute, Sussex County Commissioner Jill Space reported on July 13.

As of that morning, there were 120 residents remaining, 18 from New Jersey and the remaining 102 from New York. With the overwhelming majority of residents coming from New York, New York State Medicaid is on-site and creating discharge plans for those residents.

In early June, the facility had 339 residents, 203 from New Jersey.

The National Guard also remains on-site to assist nursing home operations, such as meal preparation, answering phones and sanitizing the facility, which is expected to close by the middle of August.

The Department of Labor also continues to hold job fairs at Woodland to help the 250 employees to find new jobs. Local unemployment and training services will also provide training and re-employment services to the staff when the facility closes.

Most of the facility’s employees live in Sussex and Essex counties. Their official layoff date will be August 8.

Space said three employers are looking to connect with the current employees, and two of those employers are located in Sussex County.

“I was pleased to hear how thorough all the information is being given to these frontline true heroes who never gave up on the residents of Andover Subacute, or Woodland Behavioral Center, especially during the last two years of the pandemic,” Space said.

At least 83 residents have reportedly died of COVID-19 in the facility to date. The nursing home has a long-term care bed capacity of 543.

During the beginning of the pandemic, in April 2020, a police inspection of Woodland found 17 bodies piled in a morgue that only had space for four, which prompted further investigation and a civil penalty of $220,235, among other actions.