Jack Surrency is in charge of the county Department of Human Services. It was reported recently about an outbreak of a contagious virus at the Cumberland Manor. An entire floor has been quarantined.
Jason Laday’s story in Thursday’s News was the result of an anonymous phone call Wednesday evening. He was told that the third floor had been isolated because 34 of the 55 residents on that floor were suffering with the effects of norovirus, a nonlethal but extremely contagious stomach bug. Four have required hospitalization.
The public was never notified of this danger to the public health. Many county residents have family at The Manor. All of the employees also have family and friends that could be exposed.
The management of the manor as well as the county administrator have a duty to the public to inform us of such a situation, and they failed.
Now the Manor is for sale, and The News is asking the freeholders to add stipulations to the sale.
Doesn’t a health emergency at a local nursing home fall in the public-interest category?
If the county really does go ahead with selling the Manor, we expect them to make it very clear to the new owner that any such outbreaks are to be reported to the public in a timely manner.
That would be hypocritical, for the county Freeholders to demand that a private buyer live up to a standard of transparency that they themselves refuse to abide by. It is going to be an interesting year. It seems that the new majority is just as inept as the old majority. I really hope that they would prove me wrong.